Simeon ben Nanas

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SIMEON BEN NANAS (first half of the second century c.e.), tanna; contemporary and colleague of R. *Akiva, Simeon is usually referred to simply as "Ben Nanas." According to Maimonides (Yad., Zera'im, introd.) he was one of the five scholars referred to in the expression, "Those who argue before the Sages" (Sanh. 17b) whom the Talmud calls Simeon, Simeon, Simeon, Hanan, and Hananiah, but Rashi is not of the same opinion (cf. tj, Ma'as. Shen. 2:9, 53d, and see: Friedman, Netiot Le-David, 250). The fact that Simeon is called simply "Ben Nanas" might indicate that the halakhot transmitted in his name were taught before he was ordained (cf. Ta'an. 3a), or that he was never ordained. His statements are found only in the halakhah and he frequently disputes in the Mishnah with Akiva. He specialized in civil law and was praised for this by Ishmael who said: "He who would become wise should engage in the study of civil law … and he who would engage in the study of civil law let him wait upon Simeon b. Nanas" (bb 10:8).


Hyman, Toledot, s.v.; S. Friedman, in: Netiot LeDavid, Festschrift in Honor of David Weiss Halivni (2004).

[Israel Burgansky]