Adda Bar Ahavah

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(1) Babylonian amora of the third century. He was born on the day R. Judah ha-Nasi died (Kid. 72a–b; Gen. R. 58:2). A distinguished pupil of Rav, he twice rent his garments in mourning for Rav's death; the second time, when he realized that there was now no authority to consult on halakhic matters (Ber. 42b–43a). His main interest centered on halakhah, which is reported in his name by the leading sages of his day. He was extremely pious and reputed to work miracles; his contemporaries were convinced that in his company no hurt would befall them (Ta'an. 20b). During a drought his prayers for rain were answered immediately (tj, Ta'an. 3:13, 67a). When asked by the sages how he had attained a ripe old age, he replied: "No one ever came to synagogue before me, or remained behind when I left. I have not walked four cubits without meditating on the Torah, and never in an unclean place. I have not indulged in regular sleep. I have not disturbed my colleagues at the academy, nor called any of them by a nickname. I have not rejoiced at a colleague's misfortune, nor gone to sleep with an angry thought against a colleague. I have not gone in the market place to anyone who owed me money, nor ever lost my temper at home" (tj, Ta'an. 3:13, 67a; cf. Ta'an. 20b). Another dictum is: "One who has sinned and confesses his sin but is unrepentant is to be compared to a person who holds in his hand an unclean insect. Even though he immerses himself in all the waters of the world, nothing avails him" (Ta'an. 16a). In tj, Ta'anit 2:1, 65a this statement with slight variations is ascribed to Abba b. Zavda. A work entitled Baraita (Tekufah) de-Rav Adda dealing with the principles of intercalation is ascribed to Adda. It is no longer extant, but it was still known in the 14th century (Zunz-Albeck, Derashot 274).

(2) Babylonian amora of the fourth century. A favorite pupil of Rava who called him "my son," he esteemed his teacher so highly that he said to his colleagues: "Instead of gnawing bones under Abbaye, you should rather eat fat meat under Rava" (bb 22a), Many of the rabbis blamed themselves for his premature death because of their treatment of him (ibid.).


Hyman, Toledot, 102–3; Frankel, Mevo, 61b.

[Yitzhak Dov Gilat]