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Shevat 2

This date marks the death of evil King Alexander Yannai (Jannaeus), a Hasmonian king of Judea from 103 BCE to 76 BCE. While serving as High Priest at the Temple in Jerusalem, Yannai mocked the Sukkot service, at which point the crowd showed their displeasure by pelting him with etrogs. Yannai responded by having his soldiers kill 6,000 people in the Temple courtyard. Yannai aligned himself with the Hellenist faction known as the Sadducees, and opposed the mainstream rabbis, the Pharisees. On various occasions Yannai ordered the killing of Pharisees, and feasted while watching the executions. According to traditional sources, Yannai later repented and cooperated with the Pharisees.

Article 121 of 356 in the series Day in Jewish History

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