Judah ha-Nasi or Judah I known as Rabbi or Rabbenu HaQadosh, was a second-century rabbi and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah. He was a key leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea. According to the Talmud he was of the Davidic line, the royal line of David, hence the title nasi "prince"; the title nasi was used for presidents of the Sanhedrin. Judah HaNasi died on 15 Kislev, AM 3978. Judah the Prince was born in 135 CE to President of Sanhedrin Simeon ben Gamliel II. According to the Midrash, he came into the world on the same day; the Talmud suggests that this was a result of Divine Providence: God had granted the Jewish people another leader of great stature to succeed Rabbi Akiva. His place of birth is unknown, he is the only tanna known as Rabbeinu HaQadosh, "our holy teacher", due to his deep piety. Judah spent his youth in the city of Usha, his father gave him the same education that he himself had received, including the Greek language. This knowledge of Greek enabled him to become the Jews' intermediary with the Roman authorities.
He favored Greek as the language of the country over Jewish Palestinian Aramaic. It is said that in Judah's house, only the Hebrew language was spoken, the maids spoke it. Rabbi Judah HaNasi, taking as an exemplum an act that he heard performed by Rabbi Meir, released the entire region of Beit Shean from the obligations of tithing home-grown produce, from observing the Seventh Year laws with respect to the same produce, he did the same for the cities of Kefar Tzemach and Beit Gubrin. According to the Talmud, Rabbi Judah HaNasi was wealthy and revered in Rome, he had a close friendship with "Antoninus" the Emperor Antoninus Pius, though it is more his famous friendship was with either Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus or Antoninus, called Caracalla and who would consult Judah on various worldly and spiritual matters. The Jerusalem Talmud records the tradition that Rabbi Judah HaNasi died in Sepphoris, in the Lower Galilee, his body was interred in the necropolis of Beit She'arim, 15.2 kilometres distant from Sepphoris, during whose funeral procession they made eighteen stops at different stations along the route to eulogize him.
It was in Beit She'arim that he established a rabbinic court. According to Rabbinical Jewish tradition, God gave both the Written Law and the Oral law to Moses on Mount Sinai; the Oral law is the oral tradition as relayed by God to Moses and from him and taught to the sages of each subsequent generation. For centuries, the Torah appeared only as a written text transmitted in parallel with the oral tradition. Fearing that the oral traditions might be forgotten, Judah undertook the mission of consolidating the various opinions into one body of law which became known as the Mishnah; this completed a project, clarified and organized by his father and Nathan the Babylonian. The Mishnah consists of 63 tractates codifying Jewish law. According to Abraham ben David, the Mishnah was compiled by Rabbi Judah the Prince in anno mundi 3949, or the year 500 of the Seleucid era, which corresponds to 189 CE. Various stories are told about Judah to illustrate different aspects of his character. One of them begins by telling of a calf breaking free from being led to slaughter.
According to the story, the calf tries to hide under Judah's robes, bellowing with terror, but he pushes the animal away, saying: "Go—for this purpose you were created." For this, Heaven inflicted upon him kidney stones, painful flatulence and other gastric problems, saying, "Since he showed no pity, let us bring suffering upon him." The story remarks that when Judah prayed for relief, the prayers were ignored, just as he had ignored the pleas of the calf. He prevented his maid from hurting the offspring of a mongoose, on the basis that "It is written:'His Mercy is upon all his works.'" For this, Heaven removed his gastric issues, saying, "Since he has shown compassion, let us be compassionate with him." Judah said, "One, ignorant of the Torah should not eat meat." This is because one, ignorant is on the same level as animals. What, gives him the right to partake of them as food? The punishment he received for lacking compassion toward the calf helped him to see that eating animals is not a matter that should be treated lightly.
While teaching Torah, Judah would interrupt the lesson to recite the Shema Yisrael. He passed his hand over his eyes. Before he died, Judah said: "I need my sons!... Let the lamp continue to burn in its usual place. Much have I learned from my teachers. Why is the story of the Nazirite juxtaposed against the story of the suspected adulteress? It comes to tell you that anyone who sees a suspected adulteress in her corrupted state, he should put himself under a vow never again to drink wine. Look not upon the jar, but upon what is inside. What is the right way for man to choose? That, honorable in his own eyes, and, at the same time, honorable in the eyes of his fellow-men; the sword comes upon the world because of the perverting of justice. Rabbi Judah ben Samu
The Sanhedrin were assemblies of either twenty-three or seventy-one rabbis appointed to sit as a tribunal in every city in the ancient Land of Israel. There were two classes of rabbinical courts called Sanhedrin, the Great Sanhedrin and the Lesser Sanhedrin. A lesser Sanhedrin of 23 judges was appointed to each city, but there was to be only one Great Sanhedrin of 71 judges, which among other roles acted as the Supreme Court, taking appeals from cases decided by lesser courts. In general usage, "The Sanhedrin" without qualifier refers to the Great Sanhedrin, composed of the Nasi, who functioned as head or representing president, was a member of the court. In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Temple in Jerusalem, in a building called the Hall of Hewn Stones; the Great Sanhedrin convened every day except the sabbath day. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the failure of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the Great Sanhedrin moved to Galilee, which became part of the Roman province of Syria Palaestina.
In this period the Sanhedrin was sometimes referred as the Galilean Patriarchate or Patriarchate of Palaestina, being the governing legal body of Galilean Jewry. In the late 200s, to avoid persecution, the name "Sanhedrin" was dropped and its decisions were issued under the name of Beit HaMidrash; the last universally binding decision of the Great Sanhedrin appeared in 358 CE, when the Hebrew Calendar was abandoned. The Great Sanhedrin was disbanded in 425 CE after continued persecution by the Eastern Roman Empire. Over the centuries, there have been attempts to revive the institution, such as the Grand Sanhedrin convened by Napoleon Bonaparte, modern attempts in Israel. In the Hebrew Bible and the Israelites were commanded by God to establish courts of judges who were given full authority over the people of Israel, who were commanded by God to obey every word the judges instructed and every law they established. Judges in ancient Israel were the religious teachers of the nation of Israel; the Mishnah arrives at the number twenty-three based on an exegetical derivation: it must be possible for a "community" to vote for both conviction and exoneration.
The minimum size of a "community" is 10 men. One more is required to achieve a majority, but a simple majority cannot convict, so an additional judge is required. A court should not have an number of judges to prevent deadlocks; this court dealt with only religious matters. The Hasmonean court in the Land of Israel, presided over by Alexander Jannaeus, king of Judea until 76 BCE, followed by his wife, was called Synhedrion or Sanhedrin; the exact nature of this early Sanhedrin is not clear. It may have been a body of sages or priests, or a political and judicial institution; the first historical record of the body was during the administration of Aulus Gabinius, according to Josephus, organized five synedra in 57 BCE as Roman administration was not concerned with religious affairs unless sedition was suspected. Only after the destruction of the Second Temple was the Sanhedrin made up only of sages; the first historic mention of a Synhedrion occurs in the Psalms of Solomon, a Jewish religious book written in Greek.
A Synhedrion is mentioned 22 times in the Greek New Testament, including in the Gospels in relation to the trial of Jesus, in the Acts of the Apostles, which mentions a ″Great Synhedrion″ in chapter 5 where rabbi Gamaliel appeared, in chapter 7 in relation to the stoning death of Saint Stephen. The Mishnah tractate Sanhedrin states that the Sanhedrin was to be recruited from the following sources: Priests and ordinary Jews who were members of those families having a pure lineage such that their daughters were allowed to marry priests. In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Hall of Hewn Stones in the Temple in Jerusalem; the court convened every day except the sabbath day. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Sanhedrin was re-established in Yavneh with reduced authority; the seat of the Patriarchate moved to Usha under the presidency of Gamaliel II in 80 CE. In 116 it moved back to Yavneh, again back to Usha. Rabbinic texts indicate that following the Bar Kokhba revolt, southern Galilee became the seat of rabbinic learning in the Land of Israel.
This region was the location of the court of the Patriarch, situated first at Usha at Bet Shearim at Sepphoris and at Tiberias. The Great Sanhedrin moved in 140 to Shefaram under the presidency of Shimon ben Gamliel II, to Beit Shearim and Sepphoris in 163, under the presidency of Judah I, it moved to Tiberias in 193, under the presidency of Gamaliel III ben Judah haNasi, where it became more of a consistory, but still retained, under the presidency of Judah II, the power of excommunication. During the presidency of Gamaliel IV, due to Roman persecution, it dropped the name Sanhedrin. In the year 363, the emperor Julian, an apostate from Christianity, ordered the Temple rebuilt; the project's failure has been ascribed to the Galilee earthquake of 363, to the Jews' ambivalence about the project. Sabotage is a possibility. Divine intervention was the common view among Christian historians of the tim
Amoraim refers to the Jewish scholars of the period from about 200 to 500 CE, who "said" or "told over" the teachings of the Oral Torah. They were concentrated in the Land of Israel, their legal discussions and debates were codified in the Gemara. The Amoraim followed the Tannaim in the sequence of ancient Jewish scholars; the Tannaim were direct transmitters of uncodified oral tradition. The first Babylonian Amoraim were Abba Arika, respectfully referred to as Rav, his contemporary and frequent debate partner, Shmuel. Among the earliest Amoraim in Israel were Johanan bar Shimon ben Lakish. Traditionally, the Amoraic period is reckoned as eight generations; the last Amoraim are considered to be Ravina I and Rav Ashi, Ravina II, nephew of Ravina I, who codified the Babylonian Talmud around 500 CE. In total, 761 amoraim are mentioned by name in the Babylonian Talmuds. 367 of them were active in the land of Israel from around 200-350 CE, while the other 394 lived in Babylonia during 200-500 CE. In the Talmud itself, the singular amora refers to a lecturer's assistant.
The following is an abbreviated listing of the most prominent of the Amoraim mentioned in the Talmud. More complete listings may be provided by some of the external links below. See List of rabbis. Abba Arika, known as Rav, last Tanna, first Amora. Disciple of Judah haNasi. Moved from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia. Founder and Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Shmuel, disciple of Judah haNasi's students and others. Dean of the Yeshiva at Nehardea. Joshua ben Levi, headed the school of Lod. Bar Kappara Rav Huna, disciple of Rav and Shmuel. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Rav Yehudah, disciple of Rav and Shmuel. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Adda bar Ahavah, disciple of Rav. Hillel, son of Gamaliel III, disciple and grandson of Judah haNasi, younger brother of Judah II. Judah II, disciple and grandson of Judah haNasi, son and successor of Gamaliel III as Nasi. Sometimes called Rabbi Judah Nesi'ah, Rebbi like his grandfather. Resh Lakish, disciple of Judah haNasi, Rabbi Yannai and others, colleague of Rabbi Yochanan.
Yochanan bar Nafcha, disciple of Judah haNasi and Rabbi Yannai. Dean of the Yeshiva at Tiberias. Primary author of the Jerusalem Talmud. Samuel ben Nahman Shila of Kefar Tamarta Isaac Nappaha Anani ben Sason Rabbah, disciple of Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Rav Yosef, disciple of Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Rav Zeira Rav Chisda, disciple of Rav and Rav Huna. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Simon ben Pazzi Rav Sheshet Rav Nachman, disciple of Rav and Rabbah bar Avuha. Did not head his own yeshiva, but was a regular participant in the discussions at the Yeshivot of Sura and Mahuza. Rabbi Abbahu, disciple of Rabbi Yochanan. Dean of the Yeshiva in Caesarea. Hamnuna — Several rabbis in the Talmud bore this name, the most well-known being a disciple of Shmuel. Judah III, disciple of Rabbi Johanan bar Nappaha. Son and successor of Gamaliel IV as NASI, grandson of Judah II. Rabbi Ammi Rabbi Assi Hanina ben Pappa Raba bar Rav Huna Rami bar Hama Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah Abaye, disciple of Rabbah, Rav Yosef, Rav Nachman.
Dean of the Yeshiva in Pumbedita. Rava, disciple of Rabbah, Rav Yosef, Rav Nachman, Rabbi Yochanan. Dean of the Yeshiva at Mahuza. Hillel II. Creator of the present-day Hebrew calendar. Son and successor as Nasi of Judah Nesiah, grandson of Gamaliel IV. Abba the Surgeon Bebai ben Abaye Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, disciple of Abaye and Rava. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita. Rav Papa, disciple of Abaye and Rava. Dean of the Yeshiva at Naresh. Rav Kahana, teacher of Rav Ashi Rav Hama Rav Huna berai d'Rav Yehoshua Rav Ashi, disciple of Rav Kahana. Dean of the Yeshiva in Mata Mehasia. Primary redactor of the Babylonian Talmud. Ravina I, disciple of Abaye and Rava. Colleague of Rav Ashi in the Yeshiva at Mata Mehasia, where he assisted in the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud. Mar bar Rav Ashi. Ravina II, disciple of Ravina I and Rav Ashi. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Completed the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud; the "Stammaim" is a term used by some modern scholars, such as Halivni, for the rabbis who composed the anonymous statements and arguments in the Talmud, some of whom may have worked during the period of the Amoraim, but who made their contributions after the amoraic period.
See Savoraim. Gemara in the Talmud Map – University of Calgary Jewish Encyclopedia article for Amora
Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus near Santiponce, Spain into a Hispano-Roman family, his father was a first cousin of Emperor Trajan. He married Trajan's grand-niece Vibia Sabina early in his career, before Trajan became emperor and at the behest of Trajan's wife Pompeia Plotina. Plotina and Trajan's close friend and adviser Lucius Licinius Sura were well disposed towards Hadrian; when Trajan died, his widow claimed that he had nominated Hadrian as emperor before his death. Rome's military and Senate approved Hadrian's succession, but four leading senators were unlawfully put to death soon after, they had opposed Hadrian or seemed to threaten his succession, the senate held him responsible for it and never forgave him. He earned further disapproval among the elite by abandoning Trajan's expansionist policies and territorial gains in Mesopotamia, Assyria and parts of Dacia. Hadrian preferred to invest in the development of stable, defensible borders and the unification of the empire's disparate peoples.
He is known for building Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian energetically pursued personal interests, he visited every province of the Empire, accompanied by an Imperial retinue of specialists and administrators. He encouraged military preparedness and discipline, he fostered, designed, or subsidised various civil and religious institutions and building projects. In Rome itself, he constructed the vast Temple of Venus and Roma. In Egypt, he may have rebuilt the Serapeum of Alexandria, he was an ardent admirer of Greece and sought to make Athens the cultural capital of the Empire, so he ordered the construction of many opulent temples there. His intense relationship with Greek youth Antinous and Antinous' untimely death led Hadrian to establish a widespread cult late in his reign, he suppressed the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judaea. Hadrian's last years were marred by chronic illness, he saw the Bar Kokhba revolt as the failure of his panhellenic ideal. He executed two more senators for their alleged plots against him, this provoked further resentment.
His marriage to Vibia Sabina had been childless. Hadrian died the same year at Baiae, Antoninus had him deified, despite opposition from the Senate. Edward Gibbon includes him among the Empire's "Five good emperors", a "benevolent dictator", he has been described as enigmatic and contradictory, with a capacity for both great personal generosity and extreme cruelty and driven by insatiable curiosity, self-conceit, ambition. Modern interest was revived thanks to Marguerite Yourcenar's novel Mémoires d'Hadrien. Hadrian was born on 24 January 76 in Italica in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, he was named Publius Aelius Hadrianus. His father was Publius Aelius Hadrianus Afer, a senator of praetorian rank and raised in Italica but paternally linked, through many generations over several centuries, to a family from Hadria, an ancient town in Picenum; the family had settled in Italica soon after its founding by Scipio Africanus. Hadrian's mother was Domitia Paulina, daughter of a distinguished Hispano-Roman senatorial family from Gades.
His only sibling was Aelia Domitia Paulina. Hadrian's great-nephew, Gnaeus Pedanius Fuscus Salinator, from Barcino would become Hadrian's colleague as co-consul in 118; as a senator, Hadrian's father would have spent much of his time in Rome. In terms of his career, Hadrian's most significant family connection was to Trajan, his father's first cousin, of senatorial stock, had been born and raised in Italica. Hadrian and Trajan were both considered to be – in the words of Aurelius Victor – "aliens", people "from the outside". Hadrian's parents died in 86, he and his sister became wards of Publius Acilius Attianus. Hadrian was physically active, enjoyed hunting. Hadrian's enthusiasm for Greek literature and culture earned him the nickname Graeculus. Trajan married Paulina off to the three-times consul Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus. Hadrian's first official post in Rome was as a judge at the Inheritance court, one among many vigintivirate offices at the lowest level of the cursus honorum that could lead to higher office and a senatorial career.
He served as a military tribune, first with the Legio II Adiutrix in 95 with the Legio V Macedonica. During Hadrian's second stint as tribune, the frail and aged reigning emperor Nerva adopted Trajan as his heir, he was transferred to Legio XXII Primigenia and a third tribunate. Hadrian's three tribunates gave him some career advantage. Most scions of the older senatorial families might serve one, or at most two military tribunates as a prerequisite to higher office; when Nerva died in 98, Hadrian is said to have hastened to Trajan, to inform him ahead of the official envoy sent by the go
Adolf Neubauer was sublibrarian at the Bodleian Library and reader in Rabbinic Hebrew at Oxford University. He was born in Upper Hungary; the Kingdom of Hungary was part of the Austrian Empire. He received a thorough education in rabbinical literature. In 1850 he obtained a position at the Austrian consulate in Jerusalem. At this time, he published articles about the situation of the city's Jewish population, which aroused the anger of some leaders of that community, with whom he became involved in a prolonged controversy. In 1857 he moved to Paris, where he continued his studies of Judaism and started producing scientific publications, his earliest contributions were made to the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums and the Journal Asiatique. In 1865 he published a volume entitled Meleket ha-Shir, a collection of extracts from manuscripts relating to the principles of Hebrew versification. In 1864, Neubauer was entrusted with a mission to Saint Petersburg to examine the numerous, hitherto unpublished Karaite manuscripts preserved there.
As a result of this investigation he published a report in French, subsequently Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek. The work which established his reputation, was La Géographie du Talmud, an account of the geographical data scattered throughout the Talmud and early Jewish writings and relating to places in the Land of Israel. Starting in 1865 he lived in England and in 1868 his services were secured by the University of Oxford for the task of cataloging the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library; the catalog appeared in 1886 after 18 years of preparation. The volume includes more than 2,500 entries, is accompanied by a portfolio with forty facsimiles. While engaged in this work Neubauer published other works of considerable importance, he purchased a manuscript of the Samaritan Tolidah for the Bodleian and published its text in 1869. In 1875, he edited the Arabic text of the Hebrew dictionary of Abu al-Walid, in 1876 published Jewish Interpretations of the Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah, edited by Neubauer and translated by Samuel Rolles Driver jointly in 1877.
In the same year, he contributed Les Rabbins Français du Commencement du XIVe Siècle to L'Histoire Littéraire de la France, according to the rules of the French Academy, it appeared under the name of Renan. In 1878, Neubauer edited the Aramaic text of the Book of Tobit. In 1892 together with Stern, he published a German translation of a medieval chronicle of the First Crusade: Hebräische Berichte über die Judenverfolgungen Während der Kreuzzüge, he was the first to discover fragment of the Hebrew text of Ben Sira. In 1884, a readership in Rabbinic Hebrew was founded at Oxford, Neubauer was appointed to the post, which he held for 16 years until failing eyesight compelled his resignation in May 1900. Neubauer's chief fame has been won as a librarian, in which capacity he enriched the Bodleian with many priceless treasures, displaying great judgment in their acquisition. Among other things he acquired manuscripts from the Cairo geniza as well as Yemenite manuscripts, he received the M. A. degree at Oxford in 1873 and was elected an honorary fellow of Exeter College in 1890.
In the latter year, he received the honorary degree of PhD from the University of Heidelberg and was made an honorary member of the Real Academia de la Historia at Madrid. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Joseph Jacobs, Goodman Lipkind. "Adolf Neubauer". In Singer, Isidore; the Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Jewish Encyclopedia bibliographyCanon Driver, in Jew. Chron. Dec. 1899. Jewish Encyclopedia article on Adolf Neubauer, by Joseph Jacobs and Goodman Lipkind. Works by or about Adolf Neubauer at Internet Archive
Book of Proverbs
The Book of Proverbs is the second book of the third section of the Hebrew Bible and a book of the Christian Old Testament. When translated into Greek and Latin, the title took on different forms: in the Greek Septuagint it became Παροιμίαι Paroimiai. Proverbs is not an anthology but a "collection of collections" relating to a pattern of life which lasted for more than a millennium, it is an example of the Biblical wisdom tradition, raises questions of values, moral behaviour, the meaning of human life, right conduct. The repeated theme is that "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." Wisdom is praised for her role in creation. The superscriptions divide the collections as follows: Proverbs 1–9: "Proverbs of Solomon, Son of David, King of Israel" Proverbs 10–22:16: "Proverbs of Solomon" Proverbs 22:17–24:22: "The Sayings of the Wise" Proverbs 24:23–34: "These Also are Sayings of the Wise" Proverbs 25–29: "These are Other Proverbs of Solomon that the Officials of King Hezekiah of Judah Copied" Proverbs 30: "The Words of Agur" Proverbs 31:1–9: "The Words of King Lemuel of Massa, Which his Mother Taught Him" Proverbs 31:10–31: the ideal wise woman.
"Proverbs" translates to the Hebrew word mashal, but "mashal" has a wider range of meaning than the short catchy sayings implied by the English word. Thus, while half the book is made up of "sayings" of this type, the other half is made up of longer poetic units of various types; these include "instructions" formulated as advice from a teacher or parent addressed to a student or child, dramatic personifications of both Wisdom and Folly, the "words of the wise" sayings, longer than the Solomonic "sayings" but shorter and more diverse than the "instructions". The first section consists of an initial invitation to young men to take up the course of wisdom, ten "instructions", five poems on personified Woman Wisdom. Proverbs 10:1–22:16, with 375 sayings, consists of two parts, the first contrasting the wise man and the fool, the second addressing wise and foolish speech. Chapters 25–29, attributed to editorial activity of "the men of Hezekiah," contrasts the just and the wicked and broaches the topic of rich and poor.
Chapter 30:1–4, the "sayings of Agur", introduces creation, divine power, human ignorance. It is impossible to offer precise dates for the sayings in Proverbs, a "collection of collections" relating to a pattern of life which lasted for more than a millennium; the phrase conventionally used for the title is taken from chapter 1:1, mishley shelomoh, Proverbs of Solomon, is more concerned with labeling the material than ascribing authorship. The book is an anthology made up of six discrete units; the first, chapters 1–9, was the last to be composed, in the Persian or Hellenistic periods. This section has parallels to prior cuneiform writings; the second, chapters 10–22:16, carries the superscription "the proverbs of Solomon", which may have encouraged its inclusion in the Hebrew canon. The third unit is headed "bend your ear and hear the words of the wise": a large part of it is a recasting of a second-millennium BCE Egyptian work, the Instruction of Amenemope, may have reached the Hebrew author through an Aramaic translation.
Chapter 24:23 begins a new section and source with the declaration, "these too are from the wise." The next section at chapter 25:1 has a superscription to the effect that the following proverbs were transcribed "by the men of Hezekiah", indicating at face value that they were collected in the reign of Hezekiah in the late 8th century BCE. Chapters 30 and 31 are a set of appendices, quite different in style and emphasis from the previous chapters; the "wisdom" genre was widespread throughout the ancient Near East, reading Proverbs alongside the examples recovered from Egypt and Mesopotamia reveals the common ground shared by international wisdom. The wisdom literature of Israel may have been developed in the family, the royal court, houses of learning and instruction. Along with the other examples of the Biblical wisdom tradition – Job and Ecclesiastes and some other writings – Proverbs raises questions of values, moral behavior, the meaning of human life, righteous conduct; the three retain an ongoing relevance for both religious and secular readers and Ecclesiastes through the boldness of their dissent from received tradition, Proverbs in its worldliness and satiric shrewdness.
Wisdom is as close. Proverbs was excluded from the Bible because of its contradictions; the reader is told, for example, both to "not answer a fool according to his folly", according to 26:4, to "answer a fool according to his folly", as 26:5 advises. More pervasively, the recurring theme of the initial unit is that t
Eleazar ben Azariah
For other people named Eleazer. See: Eleazar Eleazar ben Azariah was a 1st-century CE Jewish tanna, i.e. Mishnaic sage, he was of the second generation and a junior contemporary of Gamaliel II, Eliezer b. Hyrcanus, Joshua b. Hananiah, Akiva, he was a kohen and traced his pedigree for ten generations back to Ezra, was wealthy. These circumstances, added to his erudition, gained for him great popularity; when Gamaliel II was temporarily deposed from the patriarchate due to his provoking demeanor, though still young, was elevated to that office by the deliberate choice of his colleagues. He did not, occupy it for any length of time, for the Sanhedrin reinstated Gamaliel, he was retained as vice-president, it was arranged that Gamaliel should lecture three Sabbaths, Eleazar every fourth Sabbath. He once journeyed to Rome along with Gamaliel II, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Akiva. Neither the object of the journey nor the result of the mission is stated, but that affairs important as pressing were involved is apparent from the season at which the journey was undertaken: they celebrated Sukkot aboard the ship.
With the same companions Eleazar once visited the ruins of the Temple at Jerusalem. On a visit to the aged Dosa b. Harkinas the latter joyfully exclaimed, "In him I see the fulfillment of the Scriptural saying:'I have been young, now am old. Subsequent generations entertained the belief that dreaming of Eleazar b. Azariah presaged the acquisition of wealth. While he lived he enjoyed the glowing praise of his famous colleagues, who said, "That generation in which Eleazar b. Azariah flourishes can not be termed orphan"; when he died, the learned said, "With the death of R. Eleazar b. Azariah was removed the crown of the sages". With Eleazar's accession to the patriarchate, the gates of the academy were opened to all who sought admittance, it is said that three hundred benches had to be added for the accommodation of the eager throngs which pressed into the halls of learning. Under his presidency, too, a review of undecided points of law was undertaken. Rabbinic homiletics owes to Eleazar the introduction of the rule called semuchin, by which one Scriptural passage is explained or supplemented by another preceding or succeeding it.
Thus, Eleazar declares that the slanderer and the listener and the false witness deserve to be thrown to the dogs. He derives this idea from the juxtaposition of the expression, "Ye shall cast it to the dogs," and the prohibition against raising false reports, bearing false witness, associating with the false witness. In his homilies he aims to bring out some ethical or practical lesson. With reference to the Day of Atonement the Bible says, "On that day... ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." From this verse, Eleazar concludes that the efficacy of the day extends only to sins against God, while sins against man are not forgiven unless the offended party has first been reconciled. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian... because thou wast a stranger in his land." On this verse Eleazar remarked, "The Egyptians admitted the Israelites out of self-interest. Now, if he who unintentionally confers a favor is accorded a token of merit, how much more so he who intentionally does a good deed".
Similar is his deduction from Deuteronomy 24:19, which says, "When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands." "Here," argues Eleazar, "the Bible promises blessings to him by whom a good deed is done unintentionally. Eleazar was independent in his Biblical interpretations, he rejected Akiva's opinions, remarking, "Even if thou persist the whole day in extending and limiting, I shall not harken to thee", or, "Turn from the Aggadah and betake thee to the laws affecting leprosy and the defilement of tents". Above all, he strove to be methodical; when one applied to him for information on a Biblical topic, he furnished that. Eleazar was opposed to frequent sentences of capital punishment. In his opinion a court that averages more than one execution in the course of seventy years is a murderous court.
The following few sentences summarize Eleazar's practical philosophy: "Where there is no study of the Torah there is no seemly behaviour. Where there is no wisdom there is no fear of God. Where there is no discernment there is no learning. Where there is a want of bread, study of the Torah can not thrive. "With what is he to be compared who possesses more knowledge than good deeds? With a tree of many branches and but few roots. A storm plucks it up and turns it over, thus Scripture says,'He shall be like the heath in the desert, shall not see when good cometh. But what does he resemble who can show more good deeds than learning? A tree of few branches and many roots. E