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Ḥana Bar Ḥanilai


ḤANA BAR ḤANILAI (end of the third century c.e.), Babylonian amora. ḥana belonged to the circle of R. *Huna (Meg. 27a), for whom he showed great respect, regarding himself as his pupil. When he saw R. Huna carrying his tools on his shoulder, he took them from him to relieve him of his burden (Meg. 28a). Hana was, apparently, a leader of the community in his city (Meg. 27a). He was well known for his wealth and famed for his charity. R. *Ḥisda states that there were 60 bakers working in his house during the day and a similar number during the night to provide bread for the poor; that his hand was always in his purse, ready to extend help to any deserving poor, sparing them the embarrassment of waiting; that the house had entrances on all four sides to facilitate their entry and anyone who entered the house hungry left it sated; also, that when there was famine in the land, he left food outside, in order that the poor who were ashamed to take it during daylight could help themselves in the darkness (Ber. 58b). Very little is known of his halakhic views; only once is he mentioned in a discussion with Ḥisda.


Judah b. Kalonymus, Yiḥusei Tanna'im ve-Amora'im, ed. by J.L. Maimon (1963), 330f.; Margalioth, Ḥakhmei, 323 f., Hyman, Toledot, 464f.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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