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ḤANINA (Hananiah ; Comrade of the Rabbis ; end of the third-beginning of the fourth century), Palestinian amora. Ḥanina was born in Babylonia; in his youth he migrated to Ereẓ Israel and studied under Johanan among others (Men. 79b; Ber. 5b; et al.). Johanan was greatly distressed because he was unable to ordain him, but Ḥanina comforted him, saying: "It is because we are descendants of Eli the Priest; we have a tradition that none of this family is destined to be ordained" (Sanh. 14a). For this reason he was called ḥaver ("comrade") of the rabbis. He is frequently mentioned together with Oshaya, who was also a priest of the family of Eli that emigrated to Ereẓ Israel; they may have been brothers (Yiḥusei Tanna'im re-Amora'im (1963, 388)). Both earned their living by sandal-making. In illustration of their great piety, the Talmud relates that their workshop was in the market of the harlots for whom they made shoes, yet they never raised their eyes to look at them. The harlots, recognizing their piety, used to swear "by the lives of the holy rabbis of Israel" (Pes. 113b). Ḥanina's halakhic sayings are cited in the Talmud. Problems were directed to him (tj, Ber., 1:1, 2b; mk 3:5, 82b), and in reply to a query about abolishing an accepted custom, he replied: "Since your ancestors were accustomed to forbid this, do not change the custom of your ancestors, that they may rest in peace" (tj, Pes. 4:1, 30d). He sent halakhot in the name of Johanan from Ereẓ Israel to Babylonia (Yev. 58b). He disputed with Ilai in halakhah (Shab. 84b), and had discussions with Zeira (rh 13a). He also had connections with Rabbah and repeated beraitot before him (bm 6b; et al.). Some are of the opinion that Rabbah (b. Naḥamani) was his brother (see Yuḥasin. s.v. Rabbah bar Naḥamani). It has recently been suggested that behind the well-known halakhah ascribed in the Bavli (Shab. 12a, 20a, et al) to the tanna Hananiah, lies a tradition properly ascribed in the Yerushalmi to Hanina (Hananiah) "comrade of the Rabbis" (Wald).


Bacher, Pal Amor; Hyman, Toledot, s.v.; Ḥ. Albeck, Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), 241–3; S. Wald, in: Sidra 19 (Hebr.) (2004), 47–75.

[Yitzhak Dov Gilat]