Aḥa Bar ḥanina

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AḤA BAR ḤANINA (c. 300 c.e.), Palestinian teacher. He came from the "south," i.e., Lydda, and when he moved to Galilee, he took with him much of the halakhic tradition which he had acquired there from R. *Joshua b. Levi (Suk. 54a). In Tiberias he studied under R. Assi from whom he received the tradition of R. Johanan (Sanh. 42a) and also received instruction from Abbahu. The Aḥa mentioned in the Talmud without patronymic is often Aḥa b. Ḥanina. R. Naḥman, one of the great Babylonian teachers, relies on Aḥa b. Ḥanina, and often takes his opinion into account (Er. 64a). Despite his Palestinian origin, his teachings are found mostly in the Babylonian Talmud. Some scholars maintain that he visited Babylonia and studied under R. Huna. An aggadist, he particularly inveighed against slander (Ar. 15b). Aḥa attached great importance to the study of the Torah even under difficult economic circumstances such as he himself experienced (Sot. 49a). He emphasized the importance of congregational prayer and of performing good deeds, especially visiting the sick (Ber. 8a), and he said "he who visits the sick removes one-sixtieth of their suffering" (Ber. 8a; Ned. 39b).


Hyman, Toledot, s.v.; Bacher, Pal Amor.

[Zvi Kaplan]