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ḤELBO (third–early fourth century c.e.), amora. Ḥelbo was apparently a Babylonian who migrated to Ereẓ Israel. In Babylon he studied under Huna (Ber. 6b, et al.) and under Ḥama b. Gurya, the pupil of Rav, in whose name he transmits Rav's statements (Shab. 37a, et al). In Ereẓ Israel he studied under Samuel b. Naḥman (tj, Meg. 1:1, 70b, et al.) and transmitted sayings in his name (Gen. R. 78:1; Theodor-Albeck, 916 note). He was an associate of *Ammi (tj, Kil. 9:4, 32c), Ulla Biraah (Meg. 4a), and Isaac Nappaḥa (Git. 59b–60a), and among his colleagues was apparently also the nasi Yudan (tj, Ta'an. 2:1, 65a). Ḥelbo was childless and lived a lonely life (Yev. 64b; Ned. 39b–40a). His pupil was Berechiah (Gen. R. 78:1, et al.) who frequently transmitted his sayings, particularly in aggadah (tj, Ber. 1:1, 2d, et al.). Among his noteworthy sayings are the following: "One must always be regardful of the honor due to one's wife, because blessings rest on a man's house only on account of his wife" (bm 59a); "whosoever partakes of the wedding meal of a bridegroom and does not cause him to rejoice transgresses the five voices mentioned in Jeremiah 33:11" (Ber. 6b); and "Proselytes are as injurious to Israel as a scab" (Kid. 70b) – an individual opinion presumably reflecting contemporary conditions which nevertheless in future generations influenced the attitude with regard to the acceptance of proselytes.


Bacher, Pal Amor; Hyman, Toledot, 451–2; Ḥ. Albeck, Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), 325–7.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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