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Hillel lived between 70 BCE and 10 CE He was a Jewish sage and creator of rabbinic Judaism Born in Babylonia he went to Judea to complete his studies under the Pharisees He was the most important leader among the Jews of Judea from 30 BC until his death in 10 CE He was called Hillel HaZaken because of the respect people gave him not becuase of his physical age He was known for his humility and his love for others Hillel described the meaning of Judaism in simple terms to a gentile who came to him requesting information about Judaism He said What is hateful to thee do not unto thy fellowman this is the whole Law the rest is mere commentary Hillel lived around the same time as Herod Herods massacres of rabbis interfered with the Temple not to mention his efforts at further Hellenizing the Jews and contributed to corruption within the kehuna During this times there was still a Sanhedrin headed by Hillel Hillel became an authority on interpreting Torah law Because of his great learning in 30 BC he became president of the Sanhedrin and he held office in it for 40 years Hillel reorganized the body of Jewish law He made it easier to study by arranging the laws under six headings where there had previously been 600 These six headings form the six major divisions of the Talmud In addition Hillel is described as the first sage to have created logical rules for interpreting the scriptures Hillel founded a school which was named for him Thousands of students came to Jerusalem to study under him Some of them became important enough to be mentioned in the Talmud He adapted texts from a literal interpretation and tried to make obedience of Jewish Law feasible for all Jews For example he established the concept of prosbul which helped poor borrowers by making the loans go
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