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Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi Print E-mail

From The Pages of HistoryThe 15th of Kislev is the Yahrtzeit of Reb Yehuda HaNasi, son of Rav Shimon ben Gamliel, and redactor of the Mishna (120-192 CE) [193, according to others] The Romans had prohibited circumcision at the time of Rebbi’s birth, but his father, Rabbi Shimon, performed the Mitzvah. The local authorities reported Rabbi Shimon to Caesar, and Rabbi Shimon was summoned to present his child in Rome.

Rabbi Shimon’s wife, had a Roman noblewoman as a friend, who switched her uncircumcised baby with the young Yehuda, and Caesar saw that Rabbi Shimon had obeyed his law.

The noblewoman was the mother of Antoninus, the future friend of Rebbi. (Tosafot, Avodah Zarah 10b)

His first Rebbi was Rabbi Yaakov Kursai (Yerushalmi Shabbat 10). Rabbi Meir trained Rebbi’s thinking. (Eruvin 13b, Yerushalmi Beitza 5:2)

Rabbi Shimon sent his son toe Rabbi Yehuda to be his Rebbi Muvhak. (Shavuot 13a, Yerushalmi Pesachim 1:1, Bava Metzia 3:1)

Rebbi lived, “Be exiled to a place of learning,” and went to study in the Yeshiva of Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua. (Eruvin 53, Yoma 79, Yevamot 84, and Menachot 18) He also studied in the Yeshiva of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Tekoah. (Shabbat 147b, Eruvin 72, Yerushalmi Shabbat 10:5)

He spent time with Rabbi Yossi. (Niddah 68b, Chullin 137, Yerushalmi Gittin 6:7) It seems that he also studied in the Yeshiva of Abba Yosef ben Dustai. (Yoma 22, Chagigah 13, and Zevachim 116)

My father zt”l used to say that the last of a generation is often the greatest, so that he can allow the transition from one generation to the next. Rebbi was the greatest of the Tana’im, and was the teacher who gave us the Mishna as we have it.

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