Discover Jewish Rome’s Secrets!

Were there any Jewish gladiators?

Find out what the Talmud and archeology have to say on the subject!

What did the Menorah really look like?

Is the depiction of the Menorah on Titus’ arch accurate?

What ever happened to the Temple treasures?

The Talmud and Midrash offer a few clues!

Why does Michelangelo’s Moses have horns?

Could something have been lost in translation?

What does every yeshiva student have Pope Leo XIII to thank for?

Discover how a German Cardinal saved the famous Romm publishing house of Vilna from ruin and got his name printed in the Talmud!

Did Michelangelo and Bernini study Talmud?

Discover traces and allusions to the Talmud, Midrash and Kabbalah in the works of Rome’s most celebrated artists.

Is the Messiah in Rome?

When the prophet Elijah told Rabbi Joshua ben Levi where the Messiah could be found, the sage from Eretz Yisrael set sail for the imperial capital, but what did the Messiah tell him?

What do the Talmudic sage Resh Lakish and Spartacus have in common?

They were both gladiators, of course!

What do Dan and Beit El have to do with Rome?

Roman legend tells us that Romulus and Remus founded Rome, but Jewish legends tell a slightly different story!

What’s the one thing gladiators never do?

Anything the reminds them of the elephant in the room or the possibility of a thumbs down!

Who sent the wolf that reared Romulus and Remo?

The God of Israel has mercy on orphans—even those whose descendants will one day oppress His people.

Are there Jewish “secrets” behind Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel?

The biblical scenes in Michelangelo’s frescoes clearly reveal the artist’s knowledge of Midrashic legends.

How did golden calves give birth to twins reared by a wolf?

“The day that Jeroboam erected two golden calves, Romes [sic] and Romiles [sic] came and built two huts in Rome” (Yerushalmi, Avodah zarah).

Was Nero Jewish?

According to Josephus, Nero’s wife, Poppaea Sabina, was a “God-fearer and favorable toward the Jews.” Did she ultimately convert? And what about her husband?

Where is the Temple menorah today?

Scholarship and archeology tell us the Menorah was taken to Rome and kept there, while the Midrash says that it will one day be reclaimed from “the House of the Emperor Julian”. Are we any closer to knowing where it is right now?

How did Rabbi Meir get his picture on a “wanted” poster on the gates of Rome?

Discover what happened when Rabbi Meir travelled to Rome to help his sister-in-law escape from a brothel, and became an outlaw!

Why is there a Hebrew inscription over the door of a Roman church?

At the entrance to the Ghetto there is a church with a strange inscription in Hebrew above the door. Find out why it’s there and what it means.

What kind of a man was Rome’s first Jewish mayor?

In the early 20th century, Rome elected Ernesto Nathan as its first Jewish mayor. Who was Nathan and what was his legacy?

How did Roman legionaries unwind and were Jews allowed to join them?

The Tosefta offers a rare description of the kinds of entertainment on offer at Roman military camps, but were there Jews in the audience?

Who was Angelo “Ciceruacchio” Brunetti and what happened in the Ghetto on 15 July 1847?

There are all kinds of walls, and “Chubby” Angelo Brunetti helped tear down the highest wall of all.

Who was Immanuel the Roman and what was his connection to Dante?

Love poetry, sonnets, and a rhymed journey to Heaven and Hell in 13th-century Italy—in Hebrew!

Peter and Paul or Simon and Saul?

Who were Rome’s Jewish patron saints and was one of them really the author of Jewish prayers recited to this day?