Hillel II

Hillel II, (Hebrew: הלל נשיאה, Hillel the Nasi) also known simply as "Hillel" held the office of "Nasi" of the ancient Jewish Sanhedrin between 320 and 385 CE. He was the son and successor of Judah III. He was a Jewish communal and religious authority, circa 330 - 365 CE. He is sometimes confused with Hillel the Elder, as the Talmud sometimes simply uses the name "Hillel".

In two instances his name is quoted in connection with important decisions in Jewish law: in one, Jose ben Abin expounds to him a law; in the other, Hillel cites a mishnah to establish a law (Yer. Ber. ii. 5a; Yer. Ter. i. 41a).

He is traditionally regarded as the creator of the modern fixed Hebrew calendar. However this attribution is tenuous. It first appears in a responsum of R. Hai Gaon (early eleventh century) cited by R. Avraham b. Hiyya in his "Sefer Ha'ibbur", written in 1123. The topic of that responsum is the 19-year cycle for leap-year intercalations, so the most that can be inferred from that attribution is that Hillel was responsible for the adoption of that cycle for the regulation of the distribution of leap-years. Scholars who have studied the history of the Hebrew calendar are in general agreement (and there is much evidence for this in the Talmud itself and in other rabbinic sources) that in practice, the evolution of the calendar into its present form was a gradual process spanning several centuries from the first to about the eighth or ninth century CE.

Rabbinic tradition ascribes to him an enactment which proved of incalculable benefit to his coreligionists of his own and of subsequent generations. The Jewish calendar is lunisolar. That is, its months are synchronized with the phases of the moon, but its average year length approximates the mean length of a solar year. The purpose of the latter is to ensure that the festivals, all of which occur on fixed dates of the lunar months, are also observed each year in the seasons designated for them in the Bible. To ensure the former, occasional intercalations of a day in a month were required; to ensure the latter, occasional intercalations of an extra month in a year were required.

These intercalations were determined at meetings of a special committee of the Sanhedrin. But Constantius II, following the precedents of Hadrian, prohibited the holding of such meetings as well as the vending of articles for distinctly Jewish purposes.

The entire Jewish community outside the land of Israel depended on the calendar sanctioned by the Judean Sanhedrin; this was necessary for the unified observance of the Jewish holidays. However, danger threatened the participants in that sanction and the messengers who communicated their decisions to distant congregations. Temporarily, to relieve the foreign congregations, Huna ben Abin once advised Rava not to wait for the official intercalation: "When you are convinced that the winter quarter will extend beyond the sixteenth day of Nisan declare the year a leap year, and do not hesitate" (R. H. 21a). But as the religious persecutions continued, Hillel decided to provide an authorized calendar for all time to come, though by doing so he severed the ties which united the Jews of the diaspora to their mother country and to the patriarchate.

The emperor Julian the Apostate was gracious to Hillel, whom he honored on a number of occasions. In an autograph letter to him, Julian assured him of his friendship and promised to ameliorate further the condition of the Jews. Before setting out for the war with Persia, Julian addressed to the Jewish congregations a circular letter in which he informed them that he had "committed the Jewish tax-rolls to the flames," and that, "desiring to show them still greater favors, he has advised his brother, the venerable patriarch Julos, to abolish what was called the 'send-tax'".

See also

*Hillel the Elder
*Hebrew calendar


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • HILLEL — (the Elder; end of first century B.C.E. and beginning of first century C.E.), considered one of the fathers of the world (Eduy. 1:4; Tosef. Eduy. 1:3) who laid the foundations for the spiritual and intellectual movement of the tannaitic period.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • HILLEL — HILLEL, college campus organization. Jews have been attracted to college and university life since the Haskalah and emancipation opened the doors to higher secular learning. Nowhere has this been more widespread than in the United States where… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hillel — is a Hebrew name of several prominent historical men and modern organizations. People named Hillel Biblical* Hillel was the father of Abdon, a minor character in the Book of Judges. * Hellel ben Shakhar is mentioned in means son of dawn , a… …   Wikipedia

  • Hillel — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Le nom Hillel est d origine sémitique, apparenté au Heylel babylonien ou canaanite, nom du dieu de l étoile du matin. Sommaire 1 Dans la Bible 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hillel — (der Ältere oder der Alte; hebr. הלל הזקן, Hillel ha zaqen; * um 30 v. Chr.; † um 9 n. Chr.) war einer der bedeutendsten pharisäischen Rabbiner aus der Zeit vor der Zerstörung des zweiten Tempels, Vorsteher des Sanhedrin und Gründer einer Schule… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hillel — • Short essay on the Jewish rabbi and philosopher Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Hillel     Hillel     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • HILLEL — (third century C.E.), scholar. Hillel was the son of gamaliel iii and the grandson of judah ha nasi , to whom it would seem in his youth he put halakhic queries (BB 83b). He was the younger brother of judah nesiah . He is mentioned as having paid …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hillel II — (en hebreo: הלל נשיאה, Hillel el Nasi) fue Nasi del Sanedrín entre los años 320 y 385, como hijo y el sucesor de Judah III. En dos casos su nombre se menciona en conexión con decisiones importantes sobre la Halajá o ley judía: en una, Jose ben… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hillel II. — Hillel II. bzw. Hillel Nasia (hebr. הלל נשיאה) war jüdischer Patriarch in der Zeit von 350 365 und wird formal zu den Amoräern der 4. Generation gezählt (nur zweimal in Zusammenhang mit Halachot erwähnt: pal. Berachot I, 5a.; pal. Terumot I, 41a) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hillel 11 — (Иерусалим,Израиль) Категория отеля: 4 звездочный отель Адрес: 11 Hillel Street, Иерусалим …   Каталог отелей

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.