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Ḥanina Segan Ha-Kohanim

ḤANINA SEGAN HA-KOHANIM

ḤANINA SEGAN HA-KOHANIM (first century c.e.), tanna living in the last years of the Second Temple, the designation Segan ha-Kohanim referring to the fact that he was deputy high priest (cf. Yoma 39a). He transmitted details about the Temple service both from his knowledge of his father's customs (Zev. 9:3) and from those of the other priests (Pes. 1:6; Eduy. 2:1–2), and about other customs prevalent in Temple times (Eduy. 2:3; Men 10:1; et al.). On the basis of his testimony cited in Pesaḥim 1:6, an extensive and ramified discussion is developed in the Babylonian Talmud (Pes. 14a–21a). The Mishnah also gives information about the customs of his family in the Temple (Shek. 6:1). His intense love of the Temple is expressed by a remark in connection with the prohibition against bathing on the Ninth of Av: "The house of our God merits that for its sake a man should forego an immersion once a year" (Ta'an. 13a). Two halakhot in his name are found in the Tosefta (Ter. 9:10; Neg. 8:6), both dealing with the laws of ritual purity. His aggadic sayings extol the virtue of peace: "Great is peace which is equal to the whole act of creation." He says that the word "peace" in the priestly blessing refers to domestic peace (Sif. Num. 42), and he enjoins, "Pray for the peace of the ruling power, since but for fear of it men would have swallowed up each other alive" (Avot 3:2), and in praise of Torah: "Everyone who takes the words of the Torah to heart… will have removed from him fear of the sword, fear of famine, foolish thoughts… fear of the yoke of human beings" (arn1 20, 70). According to Maimonides (Commentary to Mishnah, introd.), Simeon b. ha-Segan (cf. Shek. 8:5; Ket. 2:8) was the son of Ḥanina.

bibliography:

Hyman, Toledot, s.v.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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