This segment might interest not only those who wish to read about Hillel, but also people who want to know more about what life was really like in Judea around the time of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born during the lifetime of Hillel, and as I mentioned before, very likely was his student for a while. Life in those days did not change as quickly as it does now; it was very much the same during Hillel’s young adulthood as it was during Jesus’ youth.
In the past I had described life in Babylonia in detail (and I will have much more on that subject in the future) but since in our narrative Hillel and his family are now living in Judea, I would like to tell what life was like there in those days. As you can see, today’s segment is marked “History.” On the April 15 segment I introduced the structure of the book in its completed form, when it will emerge from being a blog and become a hard copy and an e-book. To make the entries clearer to the readers at this stage, I decided to mark the entries according to the part they will be included in. If the title mentions “Primary Sources” then it comes from the Talmud or other formal Judaic sources. If it is marked“History,” it comes from various sources, such as Josephus, the ancient historian, Jewish and Israeli materials, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and modern archaeological research. If it is marked “Narrative,” it is what I call my "connect the dots," where I superimpose the primary sources and the historical sources on each other, and create a narrative about Hillel's exciting life and times, including my own analysis and some speculation.