Naresh

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NARESH

NARESH , town situated on the bank of the Euphrates, south of the old city of Babylon and of *Sura. A canal went from near Naresh to Nippur. The town was situated in a hilly district and extended over a very wide area (Er. 56a). As a result it was not surrounded by a wall and this constituted a danger to the safety of its inhabitants at night (Ḥul. 127a). This particularly affected the women of the city who were obliged to undergo their ritual bathing (Nid. 67b). Naresh became renowned in the talmudic era because of Rav Papa, a native of Naresh, who lived and was active there in the middle of the fourth century c.e. Rav Papa studied at *Maḥoza under Rava, and after Rava's death some of his pupils left for Naresh, where Papa served as head of the academy and Huna b. Joshua as head of the *Kallah. The Jews of Naresh engaged in agriculture (bm 68a), and among the products made by its inhabitants, thick blankets were famous (Yoma 69a). The inhabitants had a bad reputation and were known as extortioners and thieves; it was said: "If a native of Naresh kisses you, count your teeth" (Ḥul. 127a).

bibliography:

Neubauer, Geog. 365; A. Berliner, in: Jahresbericht des Rabbiner-Seminars zu Berlin pro 5643 (1882–1883), 54; J. Obermeyer, Die Landschaft Babylonien im Zeualter des Talmuds und des Gaonates (1929), 306–12. add. bibliography: B. Eshel, Jewish Settlements in Babylonia during Talmudic Times (1979), 191–93.

[Moshe Beer]