Judah Bar Simeon

views updated


JUDAH BAR SIMEON (Sima ; late third–early fourth century c.e.), Palestinian aggadist. Judah was the son of *Simeon b. Pazzi. In the Jerusalem Talmud he is usually referred to as Judah b. Pazzi, but in the Babylonian his full name, Judah the son of Simeon b. Pazzi, is given. He studied under his father, in whose name he transmitted both halakhah and aggadah. He was a priest (tj, Ber. 5:4, 9c) and members of his family apparently married into the house of the nasi (Shab. 12:3, 13c). His homilies, interpretations of Scripture, poems, and parables are quoted in the Talmud (Sanh. 100a; tj, Ta'an. 4:8, 68c; et al.) and in the Midrashim (Gen. R. 35:3; Lev. R. 7:2, et al.). The Babylonian Talmud also quotes a baraita that he "learned in the [tractate] Nezikin of the school of Karna" (bk 47b; see Dik. Sof. ibid.). In his sermons he deals with the suffering of the people and pleads for its redemption. For example, interpreting the word aḥar ("behind") in Genesis 22:13 as meaning "after," he comments: "What is meant by 'after'? After the passage of all the generations, your children will be caught by their sins and entangled in troubles but will finally be redeemed through the horns of this ram, as its says [Zech. 9:14] 'The Lord God will blow the horn and will go with the whirlwinds of the south'" (tj, Ta'an. 2:4, 65d). Similarly he interprets Psalms 10:12, "Arise O Lord, O God, lift up Thy hand," as "Israel said to God, 'Lord of the Universe! Troubles are about to destroy us like a man drowning in the sea; stretch out Thy hand and save us'" (Mid. Ps. 10:6).


Bacher, Pal Amor; Hyman, Toledot, 566f.; Ḥ. Albeck, Mayo la-Talmudim (1969), 329f.

[Zvi Kaplan]