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Bebai ben Abaye

Bebai ben Abaye was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an amora of the fourth and fifth amoraic generations (fourth century CE), son of the celebrated Abaye Nahmani, and presiding judge in Pumbedita,[1] where his father had directed the academy. Some rabbinic chronologists[2] suggest his identity with Bebai II (Bebai ben Abin), which, however, is chronologically incorrect, the latter having been a fellow-pupil of Rab Joseph, whereas Bebai b. Abaye was a contemporary of Nahman ben Isaac, Kahana III,[3] Pappi, and Huna ben Joshua. As Abaye was a scion of the priestly house of Eli, which was doomed to premature death,[4] both Pappi and Huna ben Joshua frequently taunted Bebai with being descended from frail (short-lived) stock, and therefore with uttering frail, untenable arguments.[5] Bebai b. Abaye seems to have led a contemplative life; and legend relates some curious stories about him.[6]

References

  1. Yevamot 75b; Ketuvim 85a.
  2. J. Schorr, Wa'ad akamim, 24b; Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 667, note 5
  3. Berakhot 6b; Eruvin 90a.
  4. I Samuel ii. 33; see Rosh Hashanna 18a
  5. Er. 25b; compare Diqduqe Soferim a.l.; B. M. 109a; B. B. 137b, 151a; compare Jastrow, Dict. 794a, s.v. "Mammula ".
  6. Hagiggah 4b; Berakhot 6a and 8b; Eruvin 8a; Shabbatim 3b, 4a; Hullin 43b; Keruvim 3b; Zeb. 107a.

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