Within the Synagogue the reform movement began in 1825, and soon won many successes, the central conference of American rabbis and Union College (1875) at Cincinnati being the instruments of this progress.
Near here is Meirun, a place much revered by the Jews as containing the tombs of Hillel, Shammai and Simon ben Yohai; a yearly festival in honour of these rabbis is here celebrated.
Many if not all of the professed rabbis had travelled outside Palestine: some were even members of the dispersion, like Hillel the Babylonian, who with Shammai forms the second of the pairs.
In 1896 the central conference of American Rabbis formulated as a proselyte Confession of faith these five principles: (1) God the Only One; (2) Man His Image; (3) Immortality of the Soul; (4) Retribution; and (5) Israel's Mission.
Towards the end of Herod's life two rabbis attempted to uphold by physical force the cardinal dogma of Judaism, which prohibited the use of images.
The Rabbis apparently dreaded the possibility of such terms becoming hypostasized into personal entities distinct from God.
Such is the account which Josephus gives in the Antiquities; in the Jewish War he represents the rabbis and their disciples as looking forward to greater happiness for themselves after such a death.
The rabbis had fenced the Sabbath round with minute commands, lest any Jews should even seem to work on the Sabbath day.
Some rabbis interpreted Israel's dispersion as divinely designed for the very purpose of proselytizing (Pesahim 87b.).
Moreover it is clear that our Lord denounced not all the Pharisees but the hypocrites only, as did the rabbis whose sayings are reported in the Talmud and other Jewish books.