views updated


DIMI (Avdimi Naḥota ; fl. first half of the 4th century), Babylonian amora. Dimi was one of the *Neḥutei, the scholars who traveled from Palestine to Babylonia and back, conveying the teachings of the Palestinian academies to Babylonia and bringing the halakhot of the Babylonian amoraim to Palestine. His statements in the Talmud are introduced by the formula, "When Rav Dimi came, he said …." In particular, he transmitted the rulings of Johanan, *Resh Lakish, and Eleazar of the academy of Tiberias to the scholars of Pumbedita in the days of R. *Joseph and *Abbaye. Most of his statements are on halakhic topics, but he also transmits scriptural exegesis, midrashic aggadot, historical experiences (Ber. 44a, et al.), and particulars concerning the geography of Ereẓ Israel (Shab. 108b). He was painstakingly accurate in his reports; when he realized that he had been mistaken he sent word: "What I told you was erroneous, in fact it was said …" (Shab. 63b). He made frequent use of the expression: "In the West (i.e., Ereẓ Israel) they say …." For example, "When Rav Dimi came he said: In the West they say: 'Silence is worth twice as much as a word' (Meg. 18a). When Abbaye asked him: 'What do people avoid most in the West?' he replied: 'Putting others to shame. For R. Hanina said: "Only three categories of sinners do not reascend from Gehenna: he who commits adultery, he who publicly shames his neighbor, and he who calls his neighbor by a degrading nickname (even if the latter is accustomed to it)"'" (bm 58b). He reported, too, that in Ereẓ Israel it was customary to sing before a bride: "No powder and no paint and no styling of the hair – but she is still a graceful gazelle" (Ket. 17a). In the middle of the fourth century Dimi settled permanently in Babylonia, apparently because of the oppressive edicts of the emperor Constantine and the persecutions in the days of Gallus and Ursicinus (351).


Hyman, Toledot, 327–31; Halevy, Dorot, 2 (1923), 467–73.

[Yitzhak Dov Gilat]