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From: Tom Simms <tsimms@mailserv.nbnet.nb.ca>
Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 12:11:32 AST

On Sun, 17 May 1998 09:44:43 -0400, keras@bellatlantic.net writes:
>Office wrote:
>Were tanners, tentmakers and other persons who worked with animal skins
>ritually unclean?  Did such persons neeed to undergo some type of
>immersion ceremony to participate in the community worship services,
>enter the temple or enter a synagogue?
>Richard H. Anderson

I have had a sneaking suspicion, hinted at by the slant of research,
that Rabbinic halakha for everyone was only for the serving temple 
priests in the temple before the time of the deposition of the scrolls
and that the hoi polloi were about as kosher as zilch most of the time
until the Great Reaction after the Romans trashed the Temple.

Does my suspicion rest on any scholarly foundation?

Tom Simms