Eleazar (Eliezer) ben Zadok

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ELEAZAR (Eliezer ) BEN ZADOK , name of at least two tannaim, both belonging to the same family, in which the names Zadok and Eleazar frequently recur.

(1) Tanna of the first and beginning of the second century c.e. His father was the tanna, *Zadok, who, in an attempt to prevent the destruction of the Second Temple afflicted himself for 40 years. When he became ill, Johanan b. Zakkai obtained a physician from Vespasian and then accompanied by Eleazar he was permitted to leave Jerusalem, then under siege, in order to recover from the effects of his lengthy fast (Git. 56 a–b; Lam. R. 1:31). Eleazar's teacher was Johanan b. ha-Ḥoranit (Tosef., Suk. 2:3). He was a priest (Bek. 36a; et al.) and transmitted information concerning the structures, procedures, and practice of the Temple (Mei. 3:7; Mid. 3:8; Suk. 49a; et al.). While living in Jerusalem he engaged in commerce and such was his honesty that he dedicated to communal use three hundred flasks of wine, which he had collected from the residue in his measuring containers (Tosef., Beẓah 3:8). He was an eyewitness of the suffering endured at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple and saw the daughter of Nakdimon b. *Guryon, one of the wealthiest men in Jerusalem, picking up barley from under horses' hooves in Acre (Tosef., Ket. 5:10), and Miriam, the daughter of Boethus and wife of the high priest Joshua b. Gamla, tied by her hair to the tails of horses and made to run from Jerusalem to Lydda (Lam. R. 1:47; cf. tj, Ket. 5, end). After the destruction of the Second Temple he joined the sages of *Jabneh, and as frequent visitor at the home of R. Gamaliel, reported the Sabbath and festival customs he witnessed there (Tosef., Beẓah 1:24; 2:13, 14; Pes. 37a; et al.). Eleazar frequently quotes halakhic traditions heard in his father's home or from earlier sages, as well as explanations of halakhic terms and expressions gleaned from the schools in Jerusalem and Jabneh (Bek. 22a; Nid. 48b). His statements include, "Do good deeds for the sake of the Creator, for their own sake, do not make of them a crown with which to glorify yourself, nor a spade to dig with them" (Ned. 62a; cf. Avot 4:5). Some assume the existence of an earlier Eliezer b. Zadok whose entire life was spent in Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple.

(2) Tanna of the second half of the second century c.e., apparently the grandson of Eleazar b. Zadok (I). He transmitted halakhot in the names of R. Meir (Kil. 7:2) and of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel (Tosef., Kelim; bm 9: end), engaged in halakhic discussions with R. Judah and R. Yose (Kelim 9:26, 2:6), and was close to Judah ha-Nasi and his household (Tosef., Suk. 2:2). Aibu (the father of Rav, according to Rashi) relates (Suk. 44b) that he once learned from Eleazar's action that the shaking of the willow-branch on Tabernacles outside Jerusalem is a custom introduced by the prophets, and that no benediction is to be made over it (see, however, the readings in Dik. Sof., Suk. 136–7). Eleazar is the author of the statement, "No restriction may be imposed on the public unless the majority of the people can endure it" (Hor. 3b). It is difficult to decide to which Eleazar b. Zadok certain halakhot and statements are to be ascribed.


A. Zacuto, Yuḥasin ha-Shalem, ed. by Filipowski (1857), 26–27; Frankel, Mishnah, 97–99, 178; Hyman, Toledot, 201–5; Bacher, Tann, 1 pt. 1 (Heb., 1903), 36–38; S. Lieberman, Toseftaki-Feshutah, 4 (1962), 850.

[Yitzhak Dov Gilat]

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Eleazar (Eliezer) ben Zadok

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Eleazar (Eliezer) ben Zadok