Tuesday, March 20, 2007

part three

Among them, there was Rabbi Johanan Hahoranith, whom the elders of the Schools of Shammai and of Hillel went to visit in the tabernacle booth. Sages of the Schools of Shammai and Hillel visited Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon as well. It is written in chapter seven of tractate Semachoth, that he lost a scroll of Torah, which was bought for one hundred measures, and he prayed in the Temple, and it was found. His son was R. Eleazar ben Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon, see in Sifrei in the portion of Ki Tetze. In the chamber of Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon, many rulings were established. There the sages decreed 18 decrees, and not 24 as Rambam claims at the beginning of his commentary to the Mishna of Sabbath, for they forgot but 18 decrees.

From the explanation of Rashi and the Tosafoth it would appear that the 18 rules of contention between the Schools of Shammai and Hillel was over at that time. Indeed, what were these 18 rules of contention? As for plain meaning of the rules, it appears that Rambam, of blessed memory, was right. The first of them concerns defiled food of the first degree of impurity that defiles the tithe. However, I am not worthy to dispute it with such lions, for it is a deep legal matter, which allows for many explanations.

Anyway, in the chamber of Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon the 18 decrees were established, see the first chapter of Sabbath. This pious man compiled Megillath Taanith for he was fond of miracles. It seems to me that he did not write all of it, as according to the first chapter of Rosh Hashanah, Yehora ben Shamua, a R. Meir’s disciple, succeeded to void the government discrimination measures, and this is in Megillah Taanith.

He also explained the contradictions of Ezekiel. brought up to his chamber three hundred oil lamps to illuminate his night so he would preach. He is of blessed memory, see the chapter Hatecheleth and the first chapter of Sabbath and the end of Megillath Taaanith, as the group of R. Eleazar ben Hananiah ben Hezekiah ben Garon wrote Megillath Taanith for they did not know troubles.

Also at that time lived Nehuniah ben Hakanah, a great sage and a pious man. This is the great Rabbi Nehuniah who lived for many years, see the chapter Bnei Hair and the chapter Tefilath Hashahar in the Mishna, that he used to pray while entering the House of Study. He is also mentioned in the tractate Avoth. He compiled the Book of Bahir on deep Qabbalah and the names of the Blessed Name. R. Ishmael ben Elisha, the High Priest, received from him the secret knowledge of the Qabbalah. Likewise R. Akiba, see in the Midrash.

R. Ishmael was very good-looking, and R. Joshua ransomed him out from Romans. He was one of the Ten martyrs, killed soon after the Destruction of the Temple. They skinned his face alive, since the daughter of the Caesar coveted his beauty and it is on the kings’ head. In the beginning of Berachoth, we find that he saw The Divine Presence in the Temple and God said unto him ‘Ishmael, my son, bless me’.

At that time lived Abba Hilkiah, the grandson of Honi Hameagel. He was meek and retiring, the son of the daughter of Honi Hameagel, well versed in matter of miracles (see Taanioth).

Nahum the Scribe, as we have said it seems he lived a long time after Hillel. He (see Peah) received from R. Miasha. We have said that the sons of Bethyrah lived at the time of Shemaiah and at the time of Hillel. They lived for many years after the Destruction of the Temple until our holy master.

R. Pappias witnessed the Destruction of the Temple. In Eduyoth, he disagrees with Rabbi Joshua and R. Johanan ben Bag Bag. It means that he indeed was alive at that time. They were alive after the Destruction as well. Hillel and Shammai were the 29th recipients .

Rabban Simeon, son of Hillel the Elder, and Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai the Priest received from Hillel and Shammai, and they are the 30th recipients. Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai lived for 120 years. For there were three who lived for 120 years as did Moses our master, may he have peace, and they saw one another: Hillel, Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiba. Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai was engaged for forty years in business, for forty years he studied, and for a further forty years he taught. He became the Prince at the end of his days, after the Destruction of the Temple, see the end of Rosh Hashanah. He established 9 rules. He was a Priest, see chapter Bame Madlikin. Thus, Rashi explains there. Thus, in Sifrei, he said, ‘atonement! For what my hands have served, I have now forgotten’. He witnessed four Princes, and these are Hillel, from whom he received , Rabbi Gamliel the Elder, grandson, (in whose day the Torah was learned while standing up), and Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, who was killed during the Destruction.

At that time lived Rabbi Haninah ben Dosa, the pious man, well-versed in miracles, for whom the Divine Voice said, ‘All the world is nourished because of Haninah, my son, but for my son Haninah, one measure of carobs is sufficient from one Sabbath to the next’. In the chapter Aravei Pesahim the Heaven proclaim, ‘be careful with my son Haninah’, regarding Igereth bath Mahlat.

Chapter 3 of Taanioth tells of his goats, which brought a bear in their horns. If he was poor, how come he had goats? Rashi explains that he found a lost hen, and the owners did not claim it, and from its chicks, he purchased the goats. He learned Torah from Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, see chapter Ein Omdin.

It was in the time of Rabban Gamliel (see Berachoth). Rabban Gamliel the Elder was the 31st recipient . R. Simeon ben Gamliel, his son, was the 32nd recipient . Since this same Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel was killed, his son Rabban Gamliel (the one who argued with R. Eliezer and R. Joshua) was not yet worthy to be a Prince. R. Johanan ben Zakkai saved him from the Caesar Vespasian, and then R. Johanan ben Zakkai became the Prince at the time of the Destruction, for he found favor in the eyes of the king, see chapter Nezikin and Avoth deRabbi Nathan. He was the Prince at the end of his days, for at least two years, as Rashi explains at the end of Rosh Hashanah.

In the days of Hillel and R. Johanan ben Zakkai there were two High Priests: Hanamel the Egyptian and Ishmael ben Pavi, a very pious man, each of whom sacrificed a heifer. Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai the Priest was a very old man, but he was the head of the Sanhedrin. Though our master Hananel wrote, ‘on the day they appointed R. Eleazar ben Azariah, why did they not appoint Rabbi Eliezer? For he was a very old man’.

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That is why Rambam, of blessed memory, concluded (in his commentary to Judges, chapter two), one does not appoint to the Sanhedrin an extremely old man. We learn in another chapter in Dinei Memonoth , one does not appoint to the Sanhedrin an old man, a eunuch, or a man without sons.

When he died, he blessed his disciples that they should fear heaven as they fear flesh and blood . Then he saw the pious King of Judah, Hezekiah, who came to escort him, see chapter Tefilath Hashahar. Rambam says that a sage who was not sufficiently highly thought of in the eyes of Rabbi to be called just by name without any title, was called ‘Rabban’. However, we did not find a Rabban, but a Prince. One is referred to Aruch where the truth may be found, at length, with the help of the Lord, at the end of the alphabetical list of Tanna teachers and on Abaye, as to why the titles Rabbi, Rabban, and Rav were used. The general rule is that the title ‘Rabban’ used for Princes – Rabban Gamliel the Elder, Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel etc. and likewise all until Rabban Gamliel the son of Rabbi.

there was a doubt as to whether Rabbi Simeon bar Rabbi would be Prince, since he was a greater scholar that Rabban Gamliel, his older brother, see Ketuboth. to avoid the occurrence of what happened with Simeon the Righteous who transferred the High Priesthood to his younger son, Honio, and what happened indeed happened. Rabbi wished that Rabban Gamliel would be Prince. That is why it was necessary to call him ‘Rabban’, as a Prince, prior to his appointment, and to mention him among the Sages of the Mishna in the second chapter of Avoth. It would make it clear to the sages that he was destined to be Prince, equal to Rabbi in fear of sin, fit to take his place.

Since Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai was Prince in place of Rabban Gamliel, he too was called ‘Rabban’. While being Prince, Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai was at Yavne, see the end of Rosh Hashanah. Though Avoth deRabbi Nathan says that his disciples went to Yavne, but he went to Damsit, a spa. They advanced in Torah and he did not, but this was before his Princedom.

It seems that even in the time of the Temple, Rabban Gamliel the Elder, the grandson of Hillel, stayed at Yavne, though he was in Jerusalem , for the Sanhedrin was exiled forty years before the Destruction of the Temple. from the time that the doors of the Sanctuary opened by themselves, and Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai admonished them. He said, ‘Thus Zechariah prophesied about you, ‘Open your doors, Lebanon’ etc‘.

As murderers multiplied, and they did not want to judge in matters of life and death, they were exiled from place to place, until they reached Yavne.

There Samuel the Less proclaimed the Anathema to Heretics. It was done in presence of Rabban Gamliel the Elder, not Rabban Gamliel who was the Prince after Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai. This is indeed so since Samuel the Less died before the Destruction of the Temple, and also before Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai became Prince, as at his deathbed he predicted the killing of Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel and Rabbi Ishmael. Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel was killed in the Destruction, and then Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai became Prince, see Gittin.

This deed of Samuel the Less is brought to us in the first chapter of Sanhedrin. At the end of Sotah, and in chapter four of Semachoth, we learn that he did not have a son. Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel and Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah eulogized him. He prophesied in Aramaic at the time of his death. They put his key and his notebook in his coffin, for he had no son.

in the same tractate, in chapter five, when Rabban Gamliel the Elder came in to declare the year a leap year, Samuel the Less stood up and said ‘It was I who came without invitation‘. Rabban Gamliel said to him, ‘Sit down, my son, sit down. What do you have to do with Eldad and Medad? All Israel knows would there be two, not seven, you would be one of them’.

Then, in the days of Rabban Gamliel the Elder, Sanhedrin says that Rabban Gamliel said ‘Sit down, my son, sit down. All years deserve to be declared leap years by you’. He did not enter without invitation, he claimed this out of modesty. Rashi explains in Avoth that he was called ‘the Less’ in comparison with Samuel the Prophet. [I, Samuel Sholem, found this in Sotah JT.] It seems ‘the Less’ for he was small in his own eyes, and meek, and pious, a true disciple of Hillel in his manners. Likewise Hillel was called ‘a disciple of Ezra’, though he was not literally his disciple as three hundred years separated them.

It seems that even when the Great Court was functioning in Jerusalem, there was the Court in Yavne, see chapter Elu hen hanechnakin in Sanhedrin.

Rabbi Gamliel II, who was saved from the hands of the Emperor, became the Prince immediately after Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, also at Yavne, see chapter 4 of Rosh Hashanah. He disagreed with R. Joshua and the great Rabbi Eliezer, his brother-in-law (he was married to Imma Shalom, the sister of Rabban Gamliel), and he was the grandfather of Rabbi.

Rashi says that Rabban Gamliel the Elder was in Usha and returned to Yavne, and this is plausible. However, what he says (in commentary to the last chapter of Rosh Hashanah) that his son Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel returned to Usha, that’s wrong. For the above-mentioned Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, who was at Usha, is the father of Rabbi. That is clear as he conversed with R. Ishmael, son of R. Johanan ben Barokah, with R. Haninah, son of R. Jose the Galilean, and they were after R. Akiba and Rabbi Johanan ben Nuri. R. Johanan ben Nuri disagreed with Rabban Gamliel, his father, on the matter of the new moon.

This is not Rabban Gamliel the Elder, for he also disagreed with Rabbi Joshua. It means they were in Yavne prior to the Destruction of the Temple, from the days of Rabban Gamliel the Elder, and Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel, his son, who was killed. Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai requested Yavne, and to preserve lives of its sages, see chapter Hanezikin, it means that prior to the Destruction of the Temple he was there in Yavne. So, Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai and R. Gamliel of Yavne, who argued with R. Joshua, were there, but Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, his son, the father of Rabbi, was in Usha and in Shefaram. Rabbi stayed with the seventy of the Sanhedrin in Beth Shearim and in Tiberias and in Zippori. Tiberias was the deepest: that was the tenth exile of Sanhedrin.

Three were called ‘Rabban Gamliel’. the grandson of Hillel, and he is the only one called ‘Rabban Gamliel the Elder’ in every reference. The second was Rabban Gamliel, grandson of Rabban Gamliel the Elder, who disagreed with R. Joshua. The third Rabban Gamliel was the son of Rabbi Judah the Prince.

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Likewise, three were called ‘Rabban Simeon’: the first was the son of Hillel. The second was Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, his grandson, who was killed, see first chapter of Sabbath. The third was Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel the Meek, the father of Rabbi, who is mentioned in the chapter Hasocher in BM. Should you wish for a fourth, he would be the younger son of Rabbi, who was called Rabbi Simeon the Prince. He was mentioned as doubtful at the end of the first chapter of Gittin, if he was indeed a Prince.

Now the order of lineage of our Holy Master became clear in order to remove mistakes from the commentary on Mishna and from the book of Mada. Rabbi is the seventh in line from Hillel, and he is as sacred as the Sabbath, and as Moses our Master, may he have peace, the seventh from Abraham our Father. Rabban Gamliel, his grandfather, was the 33d recipient . R. Simeon ben Gamliel was the 34th recipient, and he was the father of Rabbi. Our Holy Master, that is R. Judah the Prince, was a descendant of Judah son of Jacob, of royal blood via son of Shephatiah son of Abital, wife of David, the 35th recipient.

All this is lineage of Hillel, but Rambam, of blessed memory, skipped Rabban Gamliel of Yavne and Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel, his father. Maybe they received only from Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai. Then the correct order would be that Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai was the 30th recipient, R. Eliezer and R. Joshua the 31st, R. Akiba the 32d. Thus, R. Meir and R. Simeon and R. Judah and R. Simeon ben Gamliel, the father of Rabbi were the 33d. Our Holy Master, pure and perfect, was then the 34th

Let us return to Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai. His court surely was there before the Destruction, see Sanhedrin, and in Tosephta, chapter two of Maaser Rishon. We shall be brief and refer just to his lineage, as his wisdom is renown. In the chapter Osin Pasin Rashi explains the words ‘by Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai’ as ‘Baraitha by his School’, similar to ‘Tosefta by Rabbi Hiya’. He is called Ben Zakkai in the chapter Bame Madlikin and in the fifth chapter of Sanhedrin. In the time of his teacher Hillel, he was called ‘Ben Zakkai’, and he ruled in his presence, and his rulings were accepted as his own. Thus, he ruled on various issues prior to the forty years when he led Israel, see Rosh Hashanah and Sukkah. We see in the Talmud in Rosh Hashanah, that the bigger part of the forty years of his leadership passed while the Temple still stood. He led Israel later as well, in the time of Rabban Gamliel the Elder and Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, his son, who was killed in the Destruction.

Alternatively, he was the Head of Court, while the others were Princes. For at least two years after the Destruction, he was the Prince. That is Rashi’s conclusion (in the end of Rosh Hashanah), as he established statutes after the Destruction, but not for long, as far as I have seen. In the Tosafoth in the chapter Bame Behema, we find that Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai reigned for two years after the Destruction, and Rabban Gamliel for three years after him, and then Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah reigned together with him.

In chapter five of Halachoth derech erez there is a story regarding Simeon ben Antiparis. He had guests, and he decreed that they should eat. They swore but faked. On their departure, he lashed them. This was brought to the attention of Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, and he said ‘Who will go to him?’ and R. Joshua said ‘I will go’ etc. He ate with him, and said to him when he left, ‘Why do you flog others, and you did not flog me?’ He replied, ‘Rabbi, you are a great sage, and you blessed in good manners. I have decreed upon people who come to me to eat and drink and they swore on the Torah and faked. I have the tradition that one, who takes an oath on the Torah and fails, receives forty lashes etc.’.

This same Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai was called ‘the fund of the peddlers’, and he had a very wise son called Rabbi Judah ben Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai. In the chapter Kol Hayad he disagreed with R. Akiba. Maybe this is R. Judah the Priest who testified together with R. Judah ben Abba (chapter 8 of Eduyoth), but this does not seem likely, since a son of a Prince in Israel would be called by the patronymic as well. In Avoth deRabbi Nathan we find that his son died, and his five disciples came to comfort him, but he was not appeased but by R. Eleazar ben Arach, as his son was very wise and sinless, and he was redeemed in due course.

At the end of Sifrei , four men lived 120 years. Moses was in Egypt and in Midian for 80 years, and ruled for 40 years. Hillel the Elder came to Israel from Babylon at the age of 40, served the sages for 40 years and led Israel for 40 years. Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai was engaged in business for 40 years, served for 40 years and led Israel for 40 years. Likewise, (Sanhedrin, chapter Hayu Bodkin) R. Akiba studied for 40 years, and served for 40 years, and he led Israel for 40 years.

As for R. Akiba, the Talmud differs, he went to study Torah after he was married on the advice of his wife, see Nedarim. It is said (Tosafoth, chapter Shoel in Sabbath), that he was 40 years old when he took it upon himself to study Torah, and he did not marry his wife until he was 64. However, it is said (end of Sifrei) that for 40 years he served the sages, and for 40 years he led Israel. In the Avoth deRabbi Nathan, in Mishna of Joseph ben Joezer the whole story is explicated. It says he was 40 years old when he began to study. In the chapter Elu Ovrin , ‘when I was an ignorant native’. In the Midrash, it is said that he was 40 years old when he went to study, and he was ashamed of it. It seems that he studied and served at the same time. It is said (Tosafoth, Ketuboth, chapter Naara) that before his studies he had been an excellent and humble man.

He said (chapter Elu Ovrin) ‘when I was an ignorant native, I would say ‘get me a scholar of law, and I would bite him like a donkey‘. It’s not that he hated scholars, but considered them arrogant and full of hate towards natives. They considered the natives untouchable, as is said, ‘clothes of natives are as a stepping stone for Pharisees’. Anyway, he observed the commandments. Likewise wrote our master Tam.

I have found (chapter Al af pi) that Kalba Savua said, ‘as he was a humble and excellent man, I betrothed to him’. Resh Lakish that he was a wise scholar from the beginning.

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Now I intend, with God’s help, to list the Sages of Mishna to the best of my ability, for I only had access to the four orders of the Babylonian Talmud, that is to say the order of Moed but for Shekalim. It seems (Tosafoth, beginning of Hulin), that Talmud refers to Rabbi Phinehas ben Jair. However, I do have the Shekalim from the JT, and the orders of Yeshuot, Nashim, Kidushin, and Berachoth of the order of Zeraim. It is known that Eduyoth and Avoth in the order of Yeshuoth have no corresponding Gemara. As for the order of Taharoth, there is no Gemara but in the Niddah. No Gemara is found for the Middoth and Kinnim from the order of Kedoshim. However, the JT, which would reveal more of the sages’ lineage, and Midrash Rabbah, Mehilta and Tosefta are not available to me now in Tunis.

I have Safra, the laws of the Priests from Leviticus, and Sifrei, which are the other books of Rav, which are Numbers and Deuteronomy, hence it is called Sifrei in plural. I have also the book Ilamedenu, and the order of Nezikin from the JT, and the Mehilta of Rabbi Ishmael, and the four orders of the Tosefta. I have Leviticus Rabbah and all the Mishna as well.

However, first I have to cut down the ten chapters, which are at the end of the Key to Mishna, as I find Rav’s reading obscure. Apparently, Rav, of blessed memory, thought that those coming after him would believe him and would not check his sources. Sometimes, the small candle is better to search for cracks and crevices than the great light and the torch, as our sages, of blessed memory, used to say. My forefathers left me space to fence myself within, and maybe another will come and will search more than myself, and he shall receive reward, for all is the labor of heaven.

In the first chapter, he lists 91 sages, and I shall elucidate, with God’s help. After this, in the second chapter, he lists 37 sages referring to a story that was in their time, or to a rule they established, or to a verse they explicated, but it was not a basis for any prohibiting or permitting ruling. In the tenth chapter, he mentions the number of 37 sages, who ruled on the Law, but their names weren’t mentioned. Be aware that these last 37 are included in the 91 that were mentioned in the first chapter, and there remain another fifty-four. It is a clear case, though Rav didn’t say so, but he said only that there were altogether 128. I found additional eighteen sages, and these are: 1. R. Menahem (chapter four of Yoma). 2. Joezer of Bira (chapter two of Orlah). 3. Mattathias ben Samuel (chapter three of Yoma), and he took care of settling differences among the 15 pious men (chapter five of Shekalim). 4. Abba Eleazar ben Dolai (chapter two of Mikvaoth). 5. Abba Jose ben Hanan (second chapter of Memadot). 6. R. Halafta from Zippori, the friend of R. Haninah ben Teradion, father of R. Jose (who is mentioned just by name in chapter two of Taanioth). This is not Rabbi Halafta from the village Kfar Hananiah, for the Gemara states that he was from Zippori. 7. Elah, the expert sage of Yavne (chapter four of Bechoroth). 8. Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, son of Rabban Gamliel the Elder, (first chapter of Avoth). It is said ‘Simeon, his son etc’, but it seems that the sage mentioned after him is Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, father of Rabbi, and he said ‘his son’ for he was in his youth when he said it. 9. R. Eliezer ben Pila (chapter seven of Tehorot) who quotes R. Akiba. 10. R. Eleazar ben Matthias (chapter ten of Yevamoth). 11. R. Johanan ben Matthias (chapter Hasocher, BM). 12. R. Joshua (chapter two of Eduyoth). All these three sons of Matthias were forgotten as if dead by Rambam, of blessed memory. It seems they were sons of R. Matthias ben Heresh, whose court and study-house were in Rome. R. Simeon ben Yohai found him there. However, (chapter eight of Sotah, in the Tosephta) Abba Halafta and Eleazar ben Matthias and Hananiah ben Hachinai stood upon Joshua’s stones. It means he was prior to R. Matthias ben Heresh. Alternatively, R. Matthias was an extremely old man, and Hananiah was ‘The Man from Ono’ mentioned in chapter six of Gittin. Rav mentions him in chapter 6, among the five who were judging before the sages (they were ben Azzai, and ben Zoma, and ben Nanas, and Hanan), but Rav did not list him among 128. If you like, Abtolos (chapter three of Eruvin) will come in his place. 13. R. Judah the Priest (chapter eight in Eduyoth). 14. R. Yishbab, the friend of R. Akiba (chapter 2 of Hulin). 15. R. Hananiah ben Akabiah (first chapter of Ketuboth and the beginning of Arachin). 16. Abba Jose Heli Kopri of Tivin (chapter one of Machshirin). 17-18. Two sages who interpreted verses were R. Simeon Berebbi and R. Hananiah ben Akashiah (the end of Makkoth).

So add 15 to 91 and you get 102 <=a good measure> plus 4. Or, another explanation and sign – it is 106, the numerical value of letters in ‘Nun’, of those who taught wisdom. Add 2 plus 37 who did not establish a ruling and they will be 39, the numerical value of ‘dew’ as in ‘blessing of dew’. Should we add to them also Elisha ben Abuya, (even though Rav said that he should not be counted with the others considering what is known of him), they will number 40, like the number of days when the Torah was given. Otherwise include Elah the sage of Yavne, and they will number 146 sages, as in the verse ‘and the old men rose <=146> to their feet’.

As for myself, I am ready to accept him since our holy master, of whose knowledge and qualities we learn mentioned him among the patriarchs of the world. It is said in the Midrash Rabbah of Ruth, ‘the bookcase is saved together with the book’, and ‘son provides merit for his father, and a disciple provides merit for his master’. His disciple was R. Meir, The Great Light of Mishna, and he saved him for the life of the world to come.

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They punished him, and the smoke would rise from his grave as atonement for him, for he studied much Torah and taught. In the JT, fire descended from the heavens and burnt his grave. It is not fitting that his disciple should be in Paradise, and he in Hell, see the end of Yoma. We learned that at first Elijah said that the court of heaven would not accept a ruling attributed to R. Meir, since he learned from him , until the sage said to Elijah, ‘He found a pomegranate, he ate the inside of it and threw away the peel’. Immediately the court of heaven began to quote the rulings attributed to R. Meir.

So the Merciful One, since the pomegranate juice was together with the peel, they judged him in the heavenly court, and let him enter into the light of life. We know he regained R. Jacob the Tanna (chapter four of Negaim), of Baraitha, and of Avoth, I mean R. Jacob the Tanna. (I mean R. Jacob of the chapter Ben Zoma who said ‘this world is like a corridor etc’. and also see the second chapter etc.) He revealed to us more regarding the mysteries of the World to Come, than all the sages. See also at the end of Hulin, and in the first chapter of Kidushin, on the verse ‘so that you may live long’.

This is Elisha, known to be one of ‘the four entered the Paradise’ with R. Akiba and Ben Azzai and Ben Zoma. He lived a long life, and he was called Acher, ‘Another’, because of the incident with a woman (she said ‘It is another one’). I think that R. Simeon ben Gamliel, father of Rabbi, ruled to punish (see Horayoth deRabbi Nathan), so that his name should not be mentioned. He ruled to say ‘there are those who say’. R. Meir<’s name> ‘others say’, since R. Meir had three teachers, R. Akiba and R. Ishmael and Elisha Another. His attitude was of jealousy and disdain towards his another teacher, whom he called ‘Another’.

Our master Shimshon wrote that when he quoted opinions of Elisha, his teacher, who was called Another, they would refer to it as ‘others say’. As for Elisha’s father, Abuya, he was a very wealthy man at the time of the Temple, and for the feast celebrating his circumcision, he invited Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples, and Nakdimon ben Gurion and Zizit Hakesset and Kalba Savua. After they had eaten, Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples went to a chamber, and they studied and expounded it until the fire was scalding around the house, as at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Abuya, his father, was most astonished that so great was the glory of the Torah, that he swore an oath that his son would be dedicated to Torah study, but since this was not for pure motives (for the sake of heaven), his Torah learning did not endure. This is like the words of R. Akiba, ‘the end of a matter is good, if it is good from its inception’.

The full explanation is found in the Midrash of Ruth. R. Meir swore to bring him to the eternal life. He said ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ and he said ‘stay here for the night’, as this sorrow is similar to night, if he will redeem you, good, (meaning the Holy One Blessed be He), for God is good and redeeming, and if not, I will redeem you as surely as Lord lives. Lie down until the morning, which is the World to Come, which is the light’.

You already know from the first chapter of Hagigah, about the encounter of Rabbi with the daughter of Elisha who told him: ‘Remember his learning and do not remember his deeds’, and that fire descended from heaven and surrounded Rabbi etc. R. Johanan said, ‘What praise is there to Rabbi Meir, that he burned his teacher, unless he will be brought to the World to Come without judgement’. R. Johanan did it, and they brought him to the World to Come without any judgement or punishment. The book Qabbalath Hahassid explained the words of R. Meir ‘I shall cause smoke to rise from his grave’. For as long as there burns a fire, there will be no smoke, and when they poured water to extinguish it the smoke rises and the fire is extinguished etc.

The most important thing is that this man never led his disciples astray, but taught them Torah even after he himself had turned to bad ways. He wanted to bring them to righteousness, as he said to Rabbi Meir, ‘until here is the permitted distance of the Sabbath walk’. He did not fully repent, since he was confused by the Divine voice which he heard saying, ‘Return, wayward sons, except for Elisha who saw My glory, and yet rebelled’. He thought they would not accept his repentance, so he brought others to righteousness and provided them with merit.

Rav said in chapter ten, there are 37 who were quoted concerning one ruling and were not mentioned again. I found eleven (or at least 10) of them who were mentioned regarding at least one other law. These are: 1. Simeon the Yemenite in chapter one of Yadaim and in the third chapter of Taanioth, and he said, in chapter 4 of Yevamoth. 2. R. Eliezer ben Judah, of Bartuta, in chapter three of Tvol Yom, and he said, only in chapter one of Orlah, where Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel quotes in his name. In addition, there is R. Eliezer ben Judah at the beginning of Zavin. It would seem that he was indeed the man from Bartuta, and if he is another, the Rabbi did not mention him, and he has at least two rulings attributed to him. 3. R. Eleazar bar Simeon in chapter twelve of Negaim. He mentioned only reference in chapter four of Temurah. 4. Nahum the Mede, in the fifth chapter of Nazir, and in the chapter Hamoher et hasfina in Bava Batra, and he mentioned only a reference in the second chapter of Sabbath. 5. R. Simeon ben Judah in the third chapter of Maaser Sheni and in the third chapter of Makkoth and in chapter fourteen of Negaim, while he, of blessed memory, mentions only the reference in the first chapter of Shevuoth. 6. R. Eleazar Hisma in the chapter Hasoher BM and in chapter seven of Negaim, and in chapter thirteen of Negaim, and he only mentioned the reference in chapter three of Terumoth. 7. Rabbi Simeon b. HaSgan, (son of the prefect ) in chapter eleven of Menachoth, and at the end of tractate Shekalim and he only mentions the reference in Ketuboth, in chapter three. 8. R. Jose ben Meshullam in chapter three of Bechoroth, and in the sixth chapter of Bechoroth, and he only mentioned the reference in the chapter 4 of Terumoth. 9. Jose ben Joezer in chapter 8 in Eduyoth gives three rulings, but he mentions only the reference in the second chapter of Hagigah. In jest, I say that he ate joezer (in Rashi’s commentary, Filiot in the foreign tongue). 10. Simeon, the brother of Azariah in chapter one of Tehoroth, and he only mentions the reference in chapter one of Zevachim. 11. Nehemiah, of Bet Deli, in chapter 8 of Eduyoth, and he only mentions the reference at the end of Yevamoth: this one is not so hard to understand, as though there are two references, it is, in fact, only one ruling.

However, should we deduct these 11 from the 37 there remain 26, but instead of those which we deducted, we have in their place other sages, who said just one rule each and whom Rav did not mention. The first ones numbered 106, and the sign is ‘ben nun’ (numerical value of letters ‘n’ ‘u’ ‘n’ sum to 106) which means ‘binah’ (wisdom). Those who determined the law amount to forty one from the total one hundred and six scholars, and this leaves sixty-five scholars who said more than one law – the same numerical value as ‘the Temple of the Lord’. Forty who did not determine any law – like the number of recipients from Moses until Rav Ashi, raise the total to one hundred and forty six, and the sign as in the verse ‘and the old men rose <=146> to their feet’.

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Of the ninety-one which he mentioned in the first chapter, they are ninety, and the one is Symmachus, the disciple of Rabbi Meir, who thought to study before Rabbi Judah (see second chapter of Kidushin and in chapter Kohen Gadol veNazir), after R. Meir died, as he wrote in the fifth chapter.

In the chapter 3 he mentions the priests, and it is worthwhile that they should be mentioned separately, as he said, for the rules were returned to Simeon the Righteous to keep, as it is said ‘he teaches your precepts to Jacob’.

Afterwards, it was right to mention the Levites, like R. Joshua ben Hananiah, who was the Head of the Court. Thus it is said in the second chapter of Yoma, that there shouldn’t be teachers but from the tribe of Levi, as it is said about them ‘he teaches your precepts’, or from the children of Issachar, as it is written ‘the children of Issachar know the wisdom of time.

He challenges there ‘how about Judah?’ as is written ‘ my lawmaker’? Maybe it is not referring to the judgement of Halachic Law? But what about David ? ‘the Lord is with him’, and the law is in accordance with him everywhere. As for Judah, ‘with his own hands he defends’ the Halachic Law, as Moses said while he prayed for his restless bones.

Maybe it is the question of providence, as with Hillel and all his descendants, the Princes, and R. Hiya and his sons, and Rav, or they said so generally. Rambam, of blessed memory, is of the opinion that the priests are the most important , as the verse concludes ‘he offers incense before you’ and he said, ‘go to the priests who are Levites’.

Ezra belonged to the Great Assembly, he was its leader. He established and left it in the hands of Simeon the Righteous . It is said that it was forgotten in Israel and Ezra came up from Babylon and established what the Prophets and the Elders forgot.

It is said of Hillel the Babylonian, and Rabbi Hiya and his sons, that they were descendants of Shimei, the brother of David. Maybe there were no priests at their time of greater stature than they were? After the Destruction of the Second Temple, when we came to this long exile, it happened that the tradition of Hillel, who lived 100 years before the Destruction, remained only in the hands of Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai the Priest, his disciple. His disciples and disciples of their disciples preserved the Law in Israel.

As for Amora teachers, Rambam, of blessed memory, wrote in his books, that God (the Holy One, Blessed be He) did thus to lead Israel on the path of righteousness, that Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai lived for a long time. It is known that R. Eleazar ben Azariah was a priest, (see chapter Tefilath Hashahar), he was tenth in line from Ezra. Simeon, the brother of Azariah, his uncle, but called ‘his brother’, for he was very rich and he supported Azariah while he studied, and they shared and joined in the life of the World to Come (see chapter Haya Notel in Sotah).

Boethus ben Zonen, at the time of R. Eleazar ben Azariah (in chapter 3 of Sofrim, at the end of Pesahim in the Tosephta of Rabban Gamliel), the Elders were in his house. R. Eleazar ben Shamua, who lived for a long time, he was the teacher of Rabbi and disciple of R. Akiba (see chapter 6 of Yevamoth, and chapter veilu neemarin, and the chapter Bne hair). He would bless before he blessed Israel , and Rabbi called him ‘the best of the scholars’. R. Haninah was a High priest, he saw the fire (in the Second Temple on the altar) crouched like a dog, while in the First Temple it was like a lion. He says in Sifrei that the fire that descended at the time of Moses was alive on the brass altar until the fire descended at the time of Solomon, when he built the Temple, and then the fire of Moses departed. The fire of Solomon departed at the time of Manasseh, but some of it remained, for Joseph ben Gurion says that Jeremiah hid it and the Men of the Great Assembly found it.

R. Simeon ben HaSgan (the son of prefect) was his son. Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel quoted laws in his name. Ishmael ben Pavi was a pious man, he served as a High Priest for ten years. [I have found in the great Joseph ben Gurion that Ishmael ben Pavi served for one year only]. He was the last to sacrifice a heifer. A Divine voice called him in the inner court of the Temple: Come in, Ishmael, the disciple of Phinehas. With his death the splendor of the priests was gone (see at the end of the chapter Makom shenohagu and elsewhere). Johanan was a High Priest. He is mentioned on Hanukkah, the father of Mattathias, the first of the Hasmoneans, and he established statutes in Israel (see the end of Sotah, and this chapter above).

Joseph ben Joezer (chapter two of Hagigah) was the most pious priest. R. Jose the Priest, the disciple of Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, called him ‘my pious master’.

Rabbi Tarphon the rich priest: R. Akiba respected him, and Rabbi Tarphon loved him as himself. In the chapter Hakotev, a doubt was expressed whether he was a teacher of R. Akiba, or a colleague. Our master Asher determined that he was a colleague, though in Sifrei he was called ‘his teacher’. He said once to R. Akiba, his disciple, ‘to part from you is like to part from life’. He is ‘a heap of nuts’.. In the Tosephta of Ketuboth, chapter eight, we find that in a year of drought he betrothed three hundred women in order to feed them with tithes, since he was a priest – and his mother was a priestess, see Middoth. In the chapter Asara Yohassin, Rashi explains that he was a priest and his mother was a priestess, and he went up after his mother to the podium to bless by the priests’ blessing. In the Mishna he used to swear ‘I’d cut my son off’ as an oath, and he was not survived by a son, but just by a daughter, see the chapter Hasoher Poalim.

Rabbi taught his daughter, and he gave him her hand, but it is not certain whether or not he married her. However, in the chapter Shebuoth Hadayanim a tanna R. Simeon bar R. Tarphon is mentioned. He ruled (chapter Kol Hanishbain) four rulings, but maybe this was in his father’s lifetime.

R. Tarphon used to return the redemption money for the firstborn, which he received as a priest.

In Sifrei, R. Judah says, ‘on Sabbath I went after Rabbi Tarphon to his house. He told me ‘Judah, my son, bring me my sandals’, and I brought him it. He stretched his hand out to the cupboard, took a stick, and gave me. He told me, ‘Judah, my son, with this I purified three lepers, and I learned seven laws. It is from cedar broth, there is a leaf on its head, and its length is a cubit. Its thickness is a quarter of a staff, the staff is divided by two and by four. One dips and sprays with it once and twice and thrice and purifies at the Temple, and not at the Temple, and purifies elsewhere’.

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It means that he was a priest, and that he was the High Priest after the Destruction of the Temple. In the sixth chapter of tractate Semachoth, we find that he lived at the time of death of R. Simeon ben Jehozadak, the teacher of R. Johanan. This is remarkable - that he should have lived for over two hundred years. We find in the first chapter of Bechoroth that Rabbi brought to him a firstborn donkey. Maybe this was Rabban Gamliel, who was also called Rabbi. All his life he regretted that he ‘Alas, Tarphon’ . Thus he was saved from death by using of the crown of the Torah (see Kallah and Nedarim chapter mashehukpelu hamikzooth)

He also gave alms with help of R. Akiba who supported the poor, and (see Kallah) on one day he gave four thousand gold dinars for charity. (In the first chapter of Yevamoth) Rashi comments that R. Tarphon was a disciple of the Shammai School. It also seems (first chapter of Berachoth) that he tended to recite the Shema prayer according to the custom of the Shammai School.

Elioeini ben Hekeph and Hanamel the Egyptian were High Priests, and they sacrificed a heifer each before Ishmael ben Pavi (see chapter 3 in Parah). Rav did not mention Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha the High Priest and R. Eleazar ben Harsum, though they were great sages. Doroth Olam mentions them among The Sages of the Generations in chapter four. It would appear that he listed only the sages mentioned in the Mishna. He listed all the sages of the Mishna, and he did not mention them for this reason.

This R. Ishmael ben Elisha, as we have already said, received from Rabbi Nehuniah ben Hakanah. He saw the Holy Presence when he offered up incense (first chapter in Berachoth) , and He said ‘Ishmael, My son, bless Me’. He was one of the Ten martyrs, and his scalp was placed at the head of kings. However, it would seem that he was not killed on the day of the Destruction , with Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, the Prince of Israel, in contrast to the Dorot Olam who said this, for in the Talmud it would appear that he survived the Destruction. (at the end of chapter Hazakath Bathim) R. Ishmael ben Elisha said ‘Since the Destruction of the Temple one should not eat meat and drink wine etc’. In addition, (in the chapter Yezioth HaSabbath) we find that he read and turned and said, ‘When the Temple will be rebuilt, I will bring a sin offering’. There he also says ‘I, Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha, consider myself a simple man in matters of Torah’.

But in the chapter Mizvoth Halizah (page 104a) the Tosafoth say that there were two sages of the same name, an old man and his grandson, and the one who lived after the Destruction was his grandson, who was much later than R. Akiba. He hated greed and exploitation (see Ketuboth, in the chapter Hanose), and when the man brought him the first fleeces, he refused to try his case – it would seem that he was a judge in Israel. However, the doubt remains concerning the three sages mentioned in the Mishna, who apparently were priests, but Rav did not recall them.

One was R. Ishmael, the friend of R. Akiba and of R. Eleazar ben Azariah, and he was a teacher of R. Meir. This is despite Rambam’s claim (in chapter two of Eduyoth), that R. Ishmael was a disciple of Rabbi Akiba (likewise in Mada). There he determined that the ruling was in accordance with R. Ishmael’s opinion. As for the ruling he was right, for (in the first chapter of Sabbath) R. Haninah ruled as Rabbi Ishmael. Although the ruling is in accordance with R. Akiba’s opinion, his colleague, R. Haninah ruled as R. Ishmael so that we should not think that the ruling is in accordance with R. Akiba. I doubt he was his disciple, and I shall expand on it.

(In the end of Moed Katan) when the sons of Rabbi Ishmael died, four elders came to console him – R. Tarphon and R. Eleazar ben Azariah and R. Jose the Galilean and R. Akiba. He said to them ‘I have twice troubled my teachers’, but this is only a polite speech, for they said at first that he was a very wise sage and well versed in Hagadda, and he would not interrupt the words of another. Had he been his disciple, it would not be fitting to show him such respect, and I will expand on this.

(In chapter five of Zevahim) R. Ishmael said ‘Go out and tell R. Akiba that he is mistaken’. (In the end of Yoma) he said ‘You are mistaken’, but it would seem that he was a priest. In the chapter Elu Trefoth, when R. Ishmael disagrees with R. Akiba he says that it is a tradition from his ancestors regarding the fat of the stomach, and they said ‘Ishmael the priest, and an assistant to the priests’. However, Rashi did not explain there that he was a priest as he did in the chapter Bame madlikin regarding Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai.

Maybe this is a hint, or connection between Ishmael the Priest, and R. Ishmael ben Elisha the High Priest, who is mentioned above as a priest and as one of the martyrs. (In the first chapter of AZ) Rashi explains that he was one of the martyrs, and anointed the skin of his face with balsam oil to conserve it. Thus explains Rashi in the chapter Haroe, they flayed off the skin of his face alive, since the Emperor’s daughter was enamoured with his beauty, for he was as beautiful as Joseph son of Jacob, and her father was displeased and flayed the skin of his face. In the chapter Haor varotev the scalp of R. Ishmael is placed at the head of kings. Rashi explains ‘scalp’ as ‘the skin of the head of a man’ and says this is done for war magic. (In the chapter Nezikin) R. Ishmael ben Elisha was taken captive, and he was young and very beautiful, and Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah redeemed him for a large ransom, and he taught Israel. His son and his daughter were taken captive, and they were martyred like their father.

The JT mentions one, whom R. Joshua redeemed, but R. Ishmael is not mentioned, and thus it seems to be in accordance with the period. In Lamentations Rabati it is found that the son and daughter who were taken captive were children of R. Zaddok the Priest, and they recognized each other and died. Maybe it wasn’t R. Zaddok the father of R. Eleazar.

Also (chapter 4, Semachoth) R. Simeon ben Gamliel and R. Ishmael ben Elisha were captured together, and when they were executed, the news reached R. Akiba and R. Judah ben Bava, and they rent their garments, and said etc. In the end of Avoth DeRabbi Nathan, it is discussed at length. As for the general rule, I do not know whether he was a priest, Rabbi Ishmael, a colleague of Rabbi Akiba, and a friend of Ben Nanas, since the Rabbi did not mention him, and this Rabbi Ishmael is frequently mentioned in the Mishna and in Baraitha.

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As we read ‘Ishmael was a priest and assisted the priests,’ it seems he was a priest, but it is not certain. After this, I found in the chapter Elu Trefoth in Rashi’s commentaries, that he was a priest, and he was R. Ishmael ben Elisha the High Priest, and it does not appear thus in the Talmud, but that they are two, and much time separates them. The first was killed with Rabban Simeon ben Gamliel, before Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai became the Prince, while the second R. Ishmael, the colleague of R. Akiba, taught R. Meir in his youth. He was present when they appointed R. Eleazar ben Azariah as Prince (chapter four of Yadaim).

I also found in the Tosafoth (chapter Mizvoth Halizah), that R. Ishmael bar R. Jose said ‘I saw R. Ishmael ben Elisha’. Likewise is written in Sifrei, and it is puzzling, how could he have seen R. Ishmael who was killed before R. Akiba, while R. Ishmael ben R. Jose lived much later, just before Rabbi. On the day that R. Akiba died, Rabbi was born. R. Isaac explained that there were two persons named R. Ishmael ben Elisha, the one who was martyred was the grandfather of the one whom R. Ishmael bar R. Jose saw, and it may have been long after R. Akiba.

The other two whom Rav did not mention are R. Zaddok and R. Eleazar his son, for Rashi and the Tosafoth claimed that they were priests, while Rambam, of blessed memory, did not mention them. Now I will expand on the matter, bringing evidence for both sides, and thus we will encounter stories and rules of Law.

Know that Rabbi Zaddok and his son lived at the time of the Destruction. I found (in Sanhedrin of the JT), that R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok testified ‘I was a mere babe and I saw the daughter of a priest who was burned’. Then he was no less than ten years old. When he went with Rabbi, he was no less than thirty years old, because a great man wouldn’t walk with a younger person. Rabbi told, ‘I used to come, together with R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok from Beth Shearim and we ate etc’. It puzzles me, for his father R. Zaddok was a very old man at the time of the Destruction, as he fasted for forty years prior to the Destruction of the Temple. How could his son have been thirty years old one hundred years after the Destruction?

R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok studied together with R. Johanan ben Hahoranith, who was very old at the time of the Temple. (At the end of the chapter Bakol Maaravin) R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok was at the time of the Rabban Gamliel who disagreed with R. Joshua. (In the chapter Elu ovrin bapesah and in the Tosephta in the second chapter of Sukkah) he studied together with R. Johanan ben Hahoranith, and the whole story is found at the end of the first chapter of Yevamoth. In the Tosephta (on chapter two of Yom Tov) R. Eleazar bar Zaddok said, ‘Many times did I eat at the house of Rabban Gamliel, and I did not observe that they cleaned between the seats ’.

R. Eleazar ben Zaddok said there ‘Once father ate at the house of Rabban Gamliel and they brought before him anigron and upon it broken (powdered) pepper. Father withdrew his hand, but Rabban Gamliel told him, ‘Do not worry, they were powdered on the eve of the feast’.

Also there (in the third chapter of Yom Tov) it is said about him. R. Abba and R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok and Abba Saul ben Botnith were shopkeepers in Jerusalem all their days. They would fill their measures on the eve of a festival, as there were no studies etc. R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok said ‘I am of the sons of Sanoa son of Benjamin etc’ (In the third chapter of Taanioth, in the Tosephta). (At the beginning of the chapter Makom shenohagu our master Asher wrote) R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok said, ‘I am of Sanoa son of Benjamin’, meaning that his ancestors would bring a wood offering on the day of the tenth of Ab.

R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok lived after the Destruction, but, since his ancestors would make an offering during the day of the tenth of Ab, and they made the day a festival, therefore, his family also made it a festive day. In addition (at the end of chapter two of Megillah, in the Tosephta) R. Judah tells about R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok, that he took the synagogue of the Alexandrines in Jerusalem, and used to do in it as he pleased etc. From all this it would appear that he lived earlier and preceded the generation of Rabbi.

I would have thought that maybe they were two persons of the same name. It would suit the JT that it would have been another person at the time of Rabbi, as (in chapter 7 of Kelaim) R. Eleazar bar Zaddok quotes R. Meir, and R. Meir was the teacher of Rabbi. I have found some support for this in Zohar in portion Vayaza Jacob, for he calls R. Zaddok ‘R. Zaddok the Weak’ since he fasted for forty years. His grandson was called ‘R. Zaddok junior’, and he was with R. Simeon ben Yohai, and he had grown-up children who were married at the time of R. Simeon. Maybe one of them was called R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok junior?

However, (in the Tosephta on the second chapter of Sukkah) I found that Rabbi said thus, ‘Once we came, myself and R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok, to R. Johanan ben Nuri at Bet Shearim, and we ate grapes and figs outside the tabernacle booth.’ It is known that R. Johanan ben Nuri was a friend of R. Joshua and of Rabban Gamliel, the grandfather of Rabbi, and he was not alive at the time of Rabbi. However, in truth, both the Tosephta and the JT call Rabban Gamliel just ‘Rabbi’ for he was a great sage and the teacher of R. Akiba (see Berachoth). Likewise, in the Babylonian Talmud, in the chapter Kol Kitvei Hakodesh Rabban Gamliel is called ‘Berebbi’, and Rashi explains that he was not the son of Rabbi, but his grandfather, and he was thus called since he was the great man in his generation.

Likewise (in the first chapter of Kidushin), R. Zaddok says of Rabban Gamliel, ‘Berebbi stood and poured us a drink’. In addition, in the Midrash and in Avoth DeRabbi Nathan Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai is also called just ‘Rabbi’. The conclusion is, now, that he was one and there was not a second.

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I wish to explain why R. Zaddok fasted for forty years prior to the Destruction of the Temple - in order that it should not be destroyed. How did he know that it would be destroyed? This was because it is written in the Gemara of Yoma, that forty years prior to the Destruction of the Temple, the gates of the Holy Place opened by themselves. Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai reprimanded them and said, ‘Why do you frighten yourself, I know that in the end you will be destroyed, as Zechariah had already prophesied ‘Open your gates, Lebanon’. It was an omen that the Temple will be destroyed.

Likewise (in Sanhedrin and at the beginning of AZ) we find that forty years prior to the Destruction of the Temple, the Sanhedrin was exiled, and it dwelt in Hanut, for there were many murderers, and they no longer dealt with cases for which there was a death penalty.

He immediately began to fast, and he became so thin that Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai requested from Vespasian that his doctors should treat him etc. (see Nezikin). Also in Lamentations Rabati: there it says ‘R. Eleazar, his son, told him, ‘Father, pay the doctors their fees so that they would not take payment from the World to Come’. R. Eleazar, his son, studied Torah with R. Johanan ben Hahoranith, of whom it is said (in Sukkah), that the Elders of the House of Shammai and the Elders of the House of Hillel came to visit him (see at the end of the first chapter of Yevamoth).

The evidence that they were priests is found in Berachoth in the chapter mishemetu where R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok said ‘We used to leap over the coffins of the dead,’ meaning ‘ graves of the Kings of Israel’ and Rashi derives from this that he was a priest. Though he said ‘coffin,’ he meant ‘grave’, since (in Ketubboth, at the end of the chapter Hanose) R. Hiya says that he saw the grave of Rabbi and he shed a tear upon it, and Rashi there explains ‘his coffin’, for one is not strict on this matter.

However, Ramban, of blessed memory, said on this passage, that, indeed he meant ‘coffin’, and the tombstone was seen in the field, and it does not cause impurity in a priest.

In the chapter Kol basar, R. Zaddok ate outside of the booth, but it was less than a egg-measure. He wrapped his hands in a cloth to eat, and did not wash his hands, for he was a priest, and the cloth rendered the eating permissible for tithe-eaters, according to the rule of R. Ammi and R. Asi, but it is not permitted for those who eat pure food. Our master Asher, of blessed memory, said, in responsa, that this is the ruling: for those who consume profane food it is not permitted, so how much more so is this the case for sacred food. However, Rambam, of blessed memory, allowed to eat profane food with a cloth, and in time of need, the Rambam, of blessed memory, deserves to being regarded a reliable authority.

The Tosafoth explained, as did Rashi, that he was a priest, as for leaping over graves, as I said. (In the chapter Kol Psulei Hamukdashin in Bechoroth, on the first born animal of R. Zaddok, and at the end of the first chapter of Yevamoth), that he would eat profane food as if it were pure tithes.

I’ll tell you two tales (from the end of the first chapter of Yevamoth): R. Eleazar bar Zaddok said ‘When I used to study Torah with R. Johanan ben Hahoranith, I observed him eating bread with a lot of salt in drought years. I came and I told this to father, and he said, ‘Bring him olives’, and I brought him olives. He saw that they were moist, and he told me ‘I will not eat these olives’. I came and told father, and he told me ‘Go and tell him that the vat had a drainage, but the orifice became plugged up with sediment.’ As for a vat of pickled olives the House of Shammai says there is no need to drain, but the House of Hillel say that one should drain, and they endorse that if there was drainage and sediment plugged it up, it still remained pure. This is although it brings the House of Shammai into acting the same way as the House of Hillel.

Likewise, (in the Tosephta on the second chapter of Sukkah) R. Eleazar bar R. Zaddok said similarly: ‘When I used to study at R. Johanan ben Hahoranith I observed him eating bread with a lot of salt in drought years. I came and I said this to father and he said, ‘Bring him olives’. He took them and he looked at them and he saw that they were moist, and he said ‘I will not eat these olives.’ I came and told it to father. He told me, ‘Go and tell him, ‘The vat has a drain in accordance with the School of Hillel, but it was plugged up by sediment’, to inform him that it is pure. For even though he was a disciple of the Shammai School, he acted in accordance with the rulings of the Hillel School.

In order to understand this you are referred to the Book of Tahara by Rambam, in chapter 11 relating to the impurity of food. He says that one should drain a vat of pickled olives so that the brine will flow out, and if he did not drain, they can become impure. If one perforated the vat, and sediment deposits blocked the perforation, olives are soaked in brine, but they can not become impure since he did perforate and it is intention that counts.

(In the Book of Taharah in chapter 22) a vat, which is encircled by a rope-hoop, has been perforated at the side, but sediment deposits have blocked the perforation, it is saved . The Tosafoth, in the beginning of the chapter Hagozal, quotes this ruling from the ninth chapter of Keli, in the chapter Veelu Mazilin and says, ‘a perforated van with orifice blocked by sediment is saved ’. Rashi explains: it is compared with the blocked chimney, which makes the house impure, for a blockage by sediment is still a blockage. The Tosafoth argued with him and it seems to me that Rashi’s interpretation is a forced one.

Though it is not the case in Ohalot, for at the end of the chapter Hamaznia he explains that through a perforation in a vessel impurity does not enter to contaminate the contents, only through the opening of the vessel. As for a rope-hoop, and a blockage – it is saved , unless it is more than half-empty. However, in the Tosafoth, also in the chapter Hamaznia, they challenged Rashi, and they interpreted in accordance with Rambam, who speaks of a rope-hoop as saving the contents of the vessel. Tosafoth were surprised there that one claims that blockage by sediment deposits are still a blockage. They say (at the end of the first chapter of Yevamoth) regarding a vat of pickled olives that Shammai school says there is no need to perforate (for drainage) and Hillel school says that it is necessary. They admit that if it had been perforated, but sediment deposits had plugged the orifice up, it is ritually pure, as if it had been perforated. Let us conclude regarding the vat of olives. If the owners arranged the drainage and the sediment deposits blocked the orifice, it still saves from impurity. Let us return to matters in hand.

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