Rabbi Judah was a great sage, a wealthy man, and the leader of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel. He was admired and respected by everyone. But when Rabbi Judah was a little baby he had come very close to being killed. This is how it happened.
Rabbi Judah was born not long after Rabbi Akiba was put to death for teaching the Torah. The Romans were angry with the Jews because they had revolted against Roman rule, so the government decreed that it be forbidden to teach the Torah or to circumcise newborns.
When Rabbi Judah was born his mother and father decided to defy the Roman decree and circumcise him as the Torah commands. When the mayor of the city heard what had happened he summoned Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel and asked him why he had violated the Emperor’s decree by circumcising his son.
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