Judah the Prince


Judah the Prince
Traditional burial place of Judah the Price at Beit She'arim National Park, Israel.

Judah the Prince, (Hebrew: יהודה הנשיא‎, Yehudah HaNasi) or Judah I, also known as Rebbi or Rabbeinu HaKadosh (Hebrew: רבינו הקדוש‎, "our Master, the holy one"), was a 2nd-century CE rabbi and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah. He was a key leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea . He was of the Davidic line, the royal line of King David, hence the title nasi, meaning prince.[1] The title nasi was also used for presidents of the Sanhedrin.[2] Judah died on 15 Kislev in 188CE or 219CE.

Contents

Biography

Judah the Prince was born in 135 CE. According to the Midrash, he came into the world on the same day that Rabbi Akiva died a martyr's death.[3] The Talmud suggests that this was a result of Divine Providence: God had granted the Jewish people another leader of great stature to succeed Rabbi Akiva. His place of birth is unknown; nor is it recorded where his father, Shimon ben Gamliel II, sought refuge with his family during the persecutions under Hadrian. He is the only tanna known as "our holy teacher" due to his deep piety.[4]

On the restoration of order in the Land of Israel, Usha became the seat of the academy and Judah spent his youth there. His father presumably gave him the same education that he himself had received, including Greek language.[5] This knowledge of Greek enabled him to become the Jews' intermediary with the Roman authorities. He favored Greek as the language of the country over Syriac (Aramaic).[6] It is said that in Judah's house, only Hebrew was spoken, and even the maids spoke it.[7]

According to the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10a-b), Judah haNasi was very wealthy and greatly revered in Rome. He had a close friendship with "Antoninus", possibly the Emperor Antoninus Pius,[8] who would consult Judah on various worldly and spiritual matters.

The Talmud records the tradition that Judah haNasi was buried in the necropolis of Beit She'arim, in the Lower Galilee.[9]

Compiler of the Mishna

Rabbinical Eras

According to Jewish tradition, God gave both the Written Law (Torah) and the Oral Law (additional laws and customs meant to be passed down from teacher to student) to Moses on Mount Sinai. For centuries, only the Torah appeared as a written text. Fearing that the oral traditions might be forgotten, Judah HaNasi undertook the mission of compiling them in what became known as the Mishna. The Mishna consists of 63 tractates codifying Jewish law, which are the basis of the Talmud.

Talmudic legends

Various stories are told about Judah haNasi to illustrate different aspects of his character. One of them begins by telling of a calf breaking free from being led to slaughter. According to the story, the calf tries to hide under Judah haNasi's robes, bellowing with terror, but he pushes the animal away, saying: "Go — for this purpose you were created." For this, Heaven inflicted upon him kidney stones, painful flatulence, and other gastric problems, saying, "Since he showed no pity, let us bring suffering upon him".

The story remarks that when Judah haNasi prayed for relief, the prayers were ignored, just as he had ignored the pleas of the calf. Later he prevented his maid from violently expelling baby weasels from his house, on the basis that "It is written: 'His Mercy is upon all his works.'" For this, Heaven removed the gastric problems from him, saying, "Since he has shown compassion, let us be compassionate with him".

Rabbi Judah HaNasi also said, "One who is ignorant of the Torah should not eat meat." This is because one who is ignorant is on the same level as animals. What, therefore, gives him the right to partake of them as food? Perhaps the punishment he received for lacking compassion towards the calf helped him to see that eating animals is not a matter that should be treated lightly.

While teaching Torah, Rabbi Judah would often interrupt the lesson to recite the Shema prayer. He passed his hand over his eyes as he said it. (Berachot 13b).

Before he died, Rabbeinu HaKadosh said: ‘I need my sons!… Let the lamp continue to burn in its usual place; let the table be set in its usual place; let the bed be made in its usual place.” (Kesubbos/Ketubot 103a)

Rabbi Judah said: "Much have I learned from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but most from my students." [10]

Sefer Chassidim Sec. 1129. (Cf. Kesubbos/Ketubot 103a.) records that after his passing Rabbeinu HaKadosh used to visit his home, wearing Shabbos (Shabat) clothes, every Friday evening at dusk. He would recite Kiddush, and others would thereby discharge their obligation to hear Kiddush. One Friday night there was a knock at the door. "Sorry," said the maid, "I can't let you in just now because Rabbeinu HaKadosh is in the middle of Kiddush." From then on Rabbeinu HaKadosh stopped coming, since he did not want his coming to become public knowledge.

References

  1. ^ Talmud Yerushalmi, quoted in Tosafos, Sanhedrin 5a.
  2. ^ Mishna Chagiga 2:2.
  3. ^ Midrash Genesis Rabbah 53; Midrash Eccl. Rabbah 1:10.
  4. ^ Mordechai Katz (2000). Understanding Judaism: a basic guide to Jewish faith, history, and practice. Mesorah Publications. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-57819-517-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=Hv5praBcT40C&pg=PA362. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Sotah 49b.
  6. ^ Sotah 49b.
  7. ^ Megillah 18a; Rosh Hashana 26b; Naz. 3a; 'Er. 53a.
  8. ^ A. Mischcon, Abodah Zara, p.10a Soncino, 1988. Mischcon cites various sources, "SJ Rappaport... is of the opinion that our Antoninus is Antoninus Pius." Other opinions cited suggest "Antoninus" was Caracalla, Lucius Verus or Alexander Severus.
  9. ^ Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli), Tractate Bava Metzia 85a, Tractate Pesachim 49b; Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Kelaim 9, 32a-b.
  10. ^ Leo Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish -ISBN 067172813X (1968), page 251.
Preceded by
Shimon ben Gamliel II
Nasi
165 (Est.) - 220
Succeeded by
Gamaliel III
  Rabbis of the Mishnah : Chronology & Hierarchy v · d · e
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Teacher→Student
 
 
 
 
 
 
Father→Son
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hillel
 
Shammai
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gamaliel the Elder
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Johanan b. Zakai
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
R. Gamaliel
 
Jose the Galilean
 
Eliezer b. Hyrcanus
 
Joshua b. Hananiah
 
Eleazar b. Arach
 
Eleazar b. Azariah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elisha b. Abuyah
 
 
 
Akiva
 
Ishmael b. Elisha
 
Tarfon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nathan
 
Meir
 
Judah b. Ilai
 
Jose b. Halafta
 
Shimon b. Yohai
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Judah the Prince
 
Hiyya
 
Oshiah
 
 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Judah haNasi — [ Roman province of Judea.] Rabbi Judah haNasi, ( he. יהודה הנשיא, pronounced Yehuda haNasi, Judah the Prince ), also known as Rabbi and Rabeinu HaKadosh (Hebrew: רבינו הקדוש, our holy rabbi ), was a key leader of the Jewish community of Judea… …   Wikipedia

  • The Return to Zion — ( he. שיבת ציון, Shivat Tzion , or שבי ציון, Shavei Tzion , lit. Zion Returnees ) is a term that refers to the event in which the Jews returned to the Land of Israel from the Babylonian exile following the decree by the Persian King Cyrus, the… …   Wikipedia

  • JUDAH MACCABEE — JUDAH MACCABEE, one of the great warriors of history, who laid the foundation of the future Hasmonean state. Judah, the third son of mattathias the Hasmonean, assumed leadership of the revolt against antiochus Epiphanes in accordance with the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Judah ben Barzillai — (Albargeloni) [In Arabic, this means from Barcelona . In Hebrew, the name is rendered ha Bartseloni .] was a Spanish Talmudist of the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century. Almost nothing is known of his life. He came of a very… …   Wikipedia

  • Prince of Asturias Awards — The Prince of Asturias Awards (Spanish: Premios Príncipe de Asturias , Asturian: Premios Príncipe d Asturies ) is a series of prestigious annual prizes given in Spain by the Fundación Príncipe de Asturias to individuals, entities, organizations… …   Wikipedia

  • Judah ha-Nasi — /hah nah see / A.D. c135 c210, Jewish rabbi and scholar. Also, Judah Hanasi. Also called Judah I. * * * born AD 135 died с 220 Palestinian Jewish scholar. A descendant of the great sage Hillel, he was patriarch of the Jewish community in… …   Universalium

  • JUDAH HALEVI — (before 1075–1141), Hebrew poet, philosopher, and physician. Halevi was one of the most distinguished and emblematic medieval intellectuals, perhaps the most mature and representative model of Jewish culture in al Andalus; he was deeply involved… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Judah ibn Ezra — (in Hebrew, Yehuda ben Yosef ibn Ezra) was a Jew of Granada, Spain who lived in the twelfth century. He was raised by Alfonso VII of Castile to the position of commander of the frontier fort of Calatrava, to the dignity of nasi (prince), and, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Judah Folkman — Moses Judah Folkman Born February 24, 1933(1933 02 24) Cleveland, Ohio Died January 14, 2008(2008 01 14 …   Wikipedia

  • Judah Loew ben Bezalel — Ladislav Šaloun s statue popularly ascribed to Loew at the new town hall of Prague in the Czech Republic. Judah Loew ben Bezalel, alt. Loewe, Löwe, or Levai, (c. 1520 – 17 September 1609)[1] widely known to scholars of Judaism as the Maharal of… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.