Hoshaiah (Oshaiah), Rav

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HOSHAIAH (Oshaiah), RAV (end of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries), Babylonian amora. Hoshaiah was a pupil of R. Judah b. Ezekiel (Git. 25a) and R. Huna (Bek. 37b). He resided in Nehardea and later in Pumbedita (Shab. 19b, et al.), and then proceeded to Ereẓ Israel where he had halakhic discussions with the outstanding pupils of Johanan (Ḥul. 124a; et al.). When Johanan failed in his persistent attempts to ordain him, he was told not to be distressed because Hoshaiah was descended from the family of Eli the priest, of which it was said (i Sam. 2:31): "I will cut off thine arm… that there shall not be a zaken in thy house," taking zaken to refer to an ordained man (Sanh. 14a and see Rashiin loco). As a result of their failure to receive ordination he and his associate Ḥanina were called "the associates of the rabbis" (tj, Shab. 3:1, 5d, et al.). Ḥanina and Hoshaiah were cobblers by trade and were so well known for their piety and righteousness that common women would swear "by the life of the holy rabbis of Israel," having them in mind. They also engaged in esoteric study (Sanh. 65b).


Hyman, Toledot, s.v.; H. Albeck, Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), 221.

[Alter Hilewitz]