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Jamnia(jăm`nēə), biblical Jabneel (jăb`nē-ĕl, jăb`nēl) and Jabneh (jăb`nə, –nē) [Heb.,=God causes to build], ancient city, central Israel. Its modern name is Yavne. A central city of Philistia, the Bible refers to its walls being destroyed by Uzziah. It was pillaged by Judas Maccabaeus and later rebuilt. In the last years before the sack of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), Jamnia became a great Jewish cultural center. At the prayer of Johanan ben ZakkaiJohanan ben Zakkai
, leader of the Pharisees of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, afterward founder of the Jewish academy at Jamnia. He emphasized the study of the Torah as the primary religious duty for which humankind was created. After A.D.
..... Click the link for more information. , Vespasian spared Jamnia and permitted Johanan to settle there as leader of the Jewish community after the fall of Jerusalem. The Great Sanhedrin was moved to Jamnia, and the city became the capital of the Jews until the rise of Simon Bar KokbaBar Kokba, Simon,
or Simon Bar Cochba
[Heb.,=son of the star], d. A.D. 135, Hebrew hero and leader of a major revolt against Rome under Hadrian (132–135). He may have claimed to be a Messiah; the Talmud relates that Akiba ben Joseph credited him with this title.
..... Click the link for more information. . In the Middle Ages the Crusaders fortified the city.