Issur Giyyora

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ISSUR GIYYORA (i.e., Issur "the Proselyte"; beginning of the fourth century), prominent figure of the amoraic period in Babylonia. He was the father of the Babylonian amora R. Mari b. Issur, who inherited the considerable fortune left by his father, of which Rava was the executor (bb 149a). There are conflicting opinions as to the identity of Issur's wife Rachel. Some maintain that she was Rachel the daughter of the famous amora Samuel (see Rashi, Ber. 16a; bm 73b; Rashbam bb 149a). A significant remark made by Issur as to what non-Jews thought about the observance of Jewish law has been preserved in the following passage (Av. Zar. 70a): "Rava has said: Issur Giora once told me, 'When we were still gentiles we used to say that Jews do not observe the Sabbath, because if they did observe it how many purses would be found in the streets!'" i.e., a Jew would discard his purse on the onset of the Sabbath, and no other Jew would pick it up.

[Jacques K. Mikliszanski]