The Romans entered Eretz Yisrael in 63 B.C.E.. They installed an Anti-Semitic Jew, King Herod The Cruel, as Roman Governor of Judea. He was very disrespectful and a ridiculous leader. He didn't care about building up Jerusalem for the welfare of The Jewish People, and only cared about his own power. He expanded The Second Temple including the construction of the 4 supporting outer walls of The Temple Mount including The Kotel, which today are the only remnants of The Second Temple. He built it in order to make up for the sins he commited such as killing his own wife and kids and many other horrible crimes. He also built other structures in Jerusalem such as The Tower of David. His construction projects were the only positive efforts of his. But since he only cared about his own power, he put a statue of an eagle, which was the Anti-Semitic and warful emblem of The Roman Empire inside The Temple. The Jews couldn't stand Roman rule and longed for a return to independence.
In this period, there were 4 different sects of Jews. The first was The Pharisees, the Torah true Jews of the era. Their leaders were the rabbis of the period that transmitted the Oral Torah, the true leaders of The Jewish People . In Hebrew they are called Prushim because they gave perushim, which means meanings in Hebrew. They were scribes and explained The Oral Torah which later formed The Talmud. They believed in Olam Haba, reward and punishment, The Mashiach, and resurrection of the dead. They believed that a descendant of King David, would become The Mashiach and bring an end to Roman rule and a return to Jewish independence. They were for the common people.
Another was The Saducees. They were aristocratic Kohanim in charge of sacrifices in The Temple. They believed in the literal interpretation of The Written Torah but didn't believe in The Oral Torah, Olam Haba, The Mashiach, or resurrection of the dead. They ceased to exist after the Destruction of The Temple since their job was to run The Temple and rejected the rabbis who continued Torah Judaism after the Destruction.
Another was The Essenes. They left Jerusalem and lived in areas in The Judean Desert near The Dead Sea. They believed that this life is bad and believed in Olam Haba. They waited for The Mashiach and spoke of the end of The World. They didn't have sexual relations and didn't go to the bathroom on Shabbat. Some claim that Christianity sprung from them. They are famous for writing The Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. They ceased to exist since they were wipped out by The Romans.
The last was The Zealots who wanted independence from Rome at all costs. In 66 C.E., The Jews started to revolt against Rome. The Romans put down the revolt and in 70 C.E., they destroyed Jerusalem and The Second Temple. The Zealots kept fighting and went to Masada to hide from the awful Romans. In the end, instead of surrendering, they commited mass suicide. The Zealots therefore ceased to exist. Some people hid and survived to tell the story. Eventually most of The Jews went into The Diaspora.
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