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Eliezer (Eleazar) ben Yose Ha-Gelili


ELIEZER (Eleazar ) BEN YOSE HA-GELILI ("of Galilee"; fl. second century c.e.), tanna. Eliezer is mentioned only once in the Mishnah, but more than ten times in the Tosefta, and even more frequently in the tannaitic Midrashim. Almost all of his dicta in both Talmuds, in beraitot, and in Midrashim are aggadic. According to the Talmud, R. Eleazar b. Simeon said of him: "Whenever you find the words of Eliezer b. Yose in the aggadah, bend your ear attentively" (Ḥul. 89a). The Baraita of the Thirty-Two Rules, which defines the hermeneutical rules for the aggadic exposition of scripture, is ascribed to him, though in its present form this is highly unlikely (see: *Baraita of the Thirty-Two Rules). Among his statements are: "A person in distress is forbidden to pray" (tj, Ber. 5:1, 8d); "Even if nine hundred and ninety-nine argue against a man [in the Heavenly Cause], while one argues in his favor, he is acquitted" (Shab. 32a). He applied the well-known saying of R. Eleazar b. Azariah, to the effect that the full praise of a person should not be uttered in his presence, to teach that "one utters only a portion of the praise of Him at whose word the world came into being" (Gen. R. 32:3).


Weiss, Dor, 2 (19044), 149; Hyman, Toledot, 180–1; Zunz-Albeck, Derashot, 143; Bacher, Tann, s.v.

[Alter Hilewitz]

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