Jacob ben Idi

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JACOB BEN IDI (end of the third century c.e.), Palestinian amora. Jacob transmitted sayings of the amoraim of the first generation, such as Joshua b. Levi (tj, Kil 6:1, 30b), R. Ḥanina (tj, Ber. 6:1, 10b), and others, but chiefly in the name of R. *Johanan, who was his main teacher. In Johanan's old age, when he was vexed that his other disciples neglected him and did not transmit his halakhic sayings, Jacob appeased him (tj, Ber. 2:1, 46; Yev. 96b). According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Pe'ah, 8:9, 21b), he and Isaac b. Naḥman were lay leaders of the community, apparently Tiberias. Toward the end of his life, however, he lived in Tyre or its vicinity. Jacob was regarded as one of the great scholars of his generation, and while *Zeira was still in Babylonia, he requested scholars traveling between Ereẓ Israel and Babylonia to take a circuitous route by way of Tyre in order to obtain Jacob's views on various problems (Ḥul. 98a; Er. 80a; bm 43b). R. Nahman made a similar request to Ḥama b. Ada, "an emissary of Zion." However, when he arrived there Jacob was no longer alive (Beẓah 25b).


Frankel, Mevo, 105a; Hyman, Toledot, 776–8; Ḥ. Albeck, Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), 250–2.

[Shmuel Safrai]