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Amram Ḥasida

AMRAM ḤASIDA

AMRAM ḤASIDA (Aram. "the Pious"; c. third century), a prominent member of the Jewish community in Nehardea. It is reported that he applied the punishment of lashes to anyone who followed lenient opinions regarding the sowing of kilayim ("mixed seeds") in a vineyard, even outside the Land of Israel (Shab. 130a). He attached ẓiẓit to a garment worn by his wife (Suk. 11a). He was physically maltreated by the house of the exilarch (because according to Rashi, "he was pious and strict and therefore imposed numerous restrictions upon them") and he became ill. (Git. 67b). The Talmud tells of his struggle against temptation in which he publicly admitted his weakness. When the sages said to him, "You have shamed us", he replied, "It is better that you be ashamed of the house of Amram in this world, than that you be ashamed of it in the world to come" (Kid. 81a). For the phenomenon of talmudic stories concerning saintly figures who live on the periphery of established rabbinic circles, see Kalmin (2004).

bibliography:

Hyman, Toledot, s.v. R. Kalmin, in: Continuity and Change (Hebrew), ed. L.I. Levine (2004) 210–232.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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