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Avimi ben Abbahu


AVIMI BEN ABBAHU (beginning of the fourth century c.e.), Palestinian amora. He had commercial contacts with Babylonia (Ket. 85a). Of his teachings almost nothing has been preserved, but he is held up as an exemplar of filial respect, his father himself praising him highly in this regard. The Talmud relates that although Avimi had five grown-up sons, when his father R. Abbahu (whose identity is a subject of dispute) would visit him, he would rush to open the door himself. Once, R. Abbahu, after asking Avimi to bring him some water to drink, fell asleep. Avimi waited at his side until he awoke (Kid. 31b). Avimi said: "One son may give his father pheasants to eat, and yet be driven from the world if he does so grudgingly, while another son may cause him to grind in a mill, and yet be brought to the world to come if he does so respectfully and solicitously" (see ibid., 31a–b). He is said to have stated: "The days of Israel's Messiah will be 7,000 years, as it is written (Isa. 62:5): 'As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee'" (Sanh. 99a, and Rashi ibid., the bridegroom's rejoicing being seven days, and God's day a thousand years).


Bacher, Pal Amor; Hyman, Toledot, 88; Frankel, Mevo, 60.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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