Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel (the Second) was the son of Rabban Gamliel (the Second) of Yavneh.  He became Nasi after the destruction of the Bar Kochba Revolt.  His Sandhedrin was in the Northern Galil (Usha).

 

He was close with Rav Natan haBavli and Rebbi Meir (the student of Rabbi Akiva).  Tana'im in his generation included Rav Shimon bar Yochai, Rav Yehoshua ben Karcha and Rebbi Yochanan haSandlar.

 

He was a humble man who wanted the position of Nasi to be important, in order to spread the glory of the Torah.  In addition to being a Torah scholar, he was an expert in science and medicine.  When he died, times became even harder for the Jewish People.  The Romans persecuted the Jews even more.

A Story:

When Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel was appointed Nassi, some of the Rabbis decided to test him to see if he really knew enough Torah.  They decided to test him on Mishna Uktzin--and to do this in public, in the Bet haMidrash. 

One of the students heard this plan.  He had to figure out how to be sure Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel would look like he knew Uktzin well.  So, he began learning behind Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel...And he learned, in a loud voice, Mishna Uktzin. 

When the Rabbis came to test him, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel proved- in front of everyone- that he knew this Mishna well!!

 

 

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