THE LIFE OF FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS. 38.
But the hatred that John the son of Levi bore to me, grew now more violent, while he could not bear my prosperity with patience. So he proposed to himself by all means possible to make away with me. And built the walls of Gischala, which was the place of his nativity. He then sent his brother Simon, and Jonathan, the son of Sisenna, and about an hundred armed men to Jerusalem; to Simon, the son of Gamaliel; in order to persuade him to induce the commonalty of Jerusalem to take from me the government over the Galileans; and to give their suffrages for conferring that authority upon him. This Simon was of the city of Jerusalem, and of a very noble family; of the sect of the Pharisees; which are supposed to excel others in the accurate knowledge of the laws of their countrey. He was a man of great wisdom, and reason; and capable of restoring publick affairs by his prudence, when they were in an ill posture. He was also an old friend and companion of John’s: but at that time he had a difference with me. When therefore he had received such an exhortation, he persuaded the High Priests, Ananus, and Jesus, the son of Gamala, and some others of the same seditious faction, to cut me down, now I was growing so great; and not to overlook me while I was aggrandizing my self to the height of glory. And he said, that it would be for the advantage of the Galileans, if I were deprived of my government there. Ananus also and his friends desired them to make no delay about the matter; lest I should get the knowledge of what was doing too soon, and should come and make an assault upon the city with a great army. This was the counsel of Simon. But Ananus, the High Priest, demonstrated to them, that this was not an easy thing to be done: because many of the High Priests, and of the rulers of the people bore witness, that I had acted like an excellent general. And that it was the work of ill men, to accuse one against whom they have nothing to say
Eicha Rabbah 1:31
Vespasianus said to Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai: “Ask me for something and I will do it.” He said to him: “I want that you to abandon this city and to go away.” He said to him: “Did the sons of Rome make me king so that I would abandon this city? Ask me something [realistic], and I will do it!” He said to him: “I want you to leave the western gate which goes to Lod and everyone who goes out until the fourth hour will be spared.”
After some time, [Hadrian] put his mind to returning home. As he conquered [the city], he said to him: “Do you have any friends or relative that is close to you? Send and bring him out before the army will go up.
He send for Rabbi Eliezer and for Rabbi Joshua to bring out Rabbi Tsadoq. They went and found him at the city gate.
As he came, Rabbi Yochanan stood up before him. Vespasianus said to him: “Before this emaciated old man you stand?” He said to him: “By your life, if there had been one more like this one and an army twice the size would have been with you, you could not have conquered [the city].” He said to him: “What is his strength?
He said to him: “That he would eat one fig and teach on it one hundred peraqin.” He said to him: “Why is he so thin?” He said to him: “From the intensity of his abstinences and fasts.” [Vespasian] sent and brought physicians who fed him on small portions of food and doses of liquid until his body returned to him.