Judah ben Ḥiyya

views updated


JUDAH BEN ḤIYYA (end of the second and beginning of the third century c.e.), amora. Judah and his twin brother *Hezekiah moved with their father *Ḥiyya from Babylon to Ereẓ Israel and assisted him in his work of teaching Torah to the people (Suk. 20a). Like their father, they studied under Judah ha-Nasi (Sanh. 38b). They were called "ha-rovim" ("the youths," tj, Ḥag. 3:4) and several halakhic dicta were transmitted in their name (ibid.; Av. Zar. 46a; Zev. 15a; et al.). Judah's father-in-law was *Yannai, who referred with respect to his son-in-law as "Sinai" (a profound scholar) and stood up in his presence. Judah apparently died at an early age, since it is stated that he was accustomed to visit his father-in-law every Sabbath eve, and when he failed to arrrive on one occasion his father-in-law understood that he was dead (tj, Bik. 3:4). His aggadic sayings include: "Come and see how the dispensation of mortals is not like that of the Holy One. Among mortals, when a man administers a medicament to a fellow it may be beneficial to one limb but injurious to another, but with the Holy One, it is not so. He gave a Torah to Israel and it is a medicament of life for all the body" (Er. 54a); "Exile atones for half of man's sins" (Sanh. 37b).

[Zvi Kaplan]