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ANAN (mid-third century), Babylonian amora. He was also called Anan bar Rav. A pupil of *Samuel, Anan transmitted many statements in his teacher's name as well as in the name of *Rav. Anan was a judge in Nehardea, and frequented the house of the exilarch Mar Ukva (Ket. 69a, 79a). His colleague was Hanan (Kid. 39a), and R. Naḥman consulted him on halakhic matters (bm 70a). He disputed points of halakhah with *Huna (bm 65b); nevertheless, Huna, who regarded himself as Anan's teacher, was deeply offended when Anan addressed him as "Huna our colleague" (Ket. 69a). References are made to his piety, which expressed itself particularly in the way he honored the Sabbath and in his scrupulous incorruptibility.

According to a talmudic aggadah, the prophet Elijah used to visit him and instruct him in the Seder Eliyahu, but stopped, because of an incident in which Anan unwittingly caused a miscarriage of justice. After Anan fasted and prayed for mercy, Elijah resumed his visits, but Anan was afraid of him. As a result of this fear, Anan would sit in a box when Elijah was teaching him, until the Seder Eliyahu was completed. According to the aggadah. this explains why the work is divided into two parts – the Seder Eliyahu Rabbah ("major" Seder Eliyahu), the part composed before this occurrence, when Anan faced Elijah directly; and the Seder Eliyahu Zuta ("minor" Seder Eliyahu), composed when Anan was sitting in the box (Ket. 105b–106a; see *Tanna de-Vei Eliyahu).


Hyman, Toledot, 284–5.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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