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Okay so I saw something really weird, apparently the Romans and the Persians said "and all of these we did only so that the Jewish People should be able to engage in Torah" in reference to all of the advances they've made, and God answered back "Everything that you did was for your own good!" Is there any truth to this exchange ever happening? My understanding was the Romans hated the Jews, so why would the Romans do anything for the Jews? I need serious detailed answers from anyone with knowledge on this.

Here is the quote I got this from:

And in a sense he does. The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 2a ff) depicts G-d's judgment of the nations in order to determine what acts they've done that deserve commendation. Each one comes in turn - the Romans, the Persians, and so forth - and point out various things they've done to advance civilization - "and all of these we did only so that the Jewish People should be able to engage in Torah." In the narrative, G-d dismisses this claim as foolish: "Everything that you did was for your own good!" The truth is, though, that their argument has merit: all of the discoveries, inventions, creature comforts, etc., that the non-Jewish world has produced can be, and should be, used for G-dly ends - like the computers, the Internet infrastructure, and the StackExchange platform which we're using for this discussion. In that sense, even now "Eisav serves Yaakov" by making more material resources available for Yaakov to serve G-d; what G-d derides as "foolish" is the fact that they don't realize this and come with this claim only when it's too late.

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See here, fourth paragraph, and after the first set of footnotes, for the quotation from Avodah Zarah. –  magicker72 Mar 6 at 22:08

2 Answers 2

To restate the crucial part of your question:

Is there any truth to this exchange ever happening?

In other words, you are searching for a historical basis for this event in the past?

You can look up the exchange in context, in Avodah Zara 2a-b. The quote begins:

R. Hanina b. Papa — some say R. Simlai — expounded [the foregoing verse] thus: In times to come,10 the Holy One, blessed be He, will take a scroll of the Law in His embrace and proclaim: 'Let him who has occupied himself herewith, come and take his reward.' Thereupon all the nations will crowd together in confusion, as it is said: All the nations are gathered together, etc.11 The Holy One, blessed be He, will then say to them: 'Come not before Me in confusion, but let each nation come in with its scribes;' as it is said, and let the peoples be gathered together,'1 and the word le'om [used here] means a kingdom, as it is written, and one kingdom [u-leom] shall be stronger than the other kingdom.2 (But can there be confusion in the presence of the Holy One, blessed be He? — [No;] it is only that they be not confused, and so hear what He says to them.) Thereupon the Kingdom of Edom3 will enter first before Him...

That is, this is an event which is yet to happen, not a record of a claim in the past.

This is a midrash, rather than a history. Soncino describes it (follow same link, see footnote 10) as:

A typical example of consolatory Aggadah wherewith the Rabbis sought to sooth the people's present afflictions by depicting the glories which the future had in store for them.

And there may be some theological point to this, rather than a dry recounting of future history.

Aside from all this, the other answer may well be true, that the kingdom of Edom refers to some representative, some angel appointed over their nation.

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"In that sense, even now "Eisav serves Yaakov" by making more material resources available for Yaakov to serve G-d; what G-d derides as "foolish" is the fact that they don't realize this and come with this claim only when it's too late." What is meant by this? I'm wondering what could possibly be the point trying to be said, I know these are not your words but how should this be taken? After reading the avodah zarah, I now have grasped the point trying to be made in that sense. So the Roman, torah part has been resolved. –  user5047 Mar 6 at 23:14

This excerpt refers to a metaphysical event that occurs in heaven. The claim that "we did it all for the Jews" is made by the angel serving as the Roman's defense attorney in the heavenly court and not by any actual Roman.

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editing in a source for your explanation would improve your answer's value. –  msh210 Mar 6 at 22:34
    
Thanks, that answers one thing. What is meant by "In that sense, even now "Eisav serves Yaakov" by making more material resources available for Yaakov to serve G-d; what G-d derides as "foolish" is the fact that they don't realize this and come with this claim only when it's too late." this is not a scripture. –  user5047 Mar 6 at 22:38

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