On the twenty-eighth day of Adar there came good news to the Jews. The Roman Government had passed a decree ordaining that they should neither study the law, nor circumcise their children, nor observe the Sabbath-days. Yehudah ben Shamua and his associates went to consult a certain matron, whom all the magnates of Rome were in the habit of visiting. She advised them to come at night and raise a loud outcry against the decree they complained of. They did so, and cried, "O heavens! are we not your brethren? are we not the children of one mother?" (Alluding to Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.) "Wherein are we worse than all other nations and tongues, that you should oppress us with such harsh decrees?" Thereupon the decrees were revoked; to commemorate which the Jews established a festival.
Rosh Hashanah, fol. 19, col. 1.