- (2nd century)Tanna and apostate. Elisha, a leading sage, was influenced by reading heretical works. He turned apostate, and was accused of helping the Romans to suppress Jewish laws and customs. There are many stories told to explain Elisha’s conversion. For instance, one day while he was sitting studying, he noticed someone climbing a tree to reach a bird’s nest. After heeding the biblical command about letting the mother bird fly away before taking her eggs, the climber was nevertheless bitten by a snake and died. Elisha refused to accept his fellow sages’ explanation that this was a reference to the world to come, and so became an apostate. His defection caused deep distress to his fellow rabbis, most of all to his pupil Rabbi MEIR, later renowned as a great Mishnah authority. Meir continued to revere Elisha, and never missed a chance to try to get him to repent. On Elisha’s deathbed, Meir made a last attempt and told him that repentance was possible even with a person’s last breath. Elisha wept as he died, and Meir took this as a sign that he had repented. It is related that when Elisha was buried, fire came down and burned on his grave. Meir threw his cloak over the fire and cried out that if God would not accept Elisha, he would redeem him himself. Meir transmitted Elisha’s teachings under the name of Acher (‘The Other One’). Elisha’s tragic life became the theme for writers and poets of the Haskalah period, and M.J.BERDYCZEWSKI’S Hebrew adaption of the first part of Goethe’s Faust is called Ben-Avuya.
Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. Joan Comay . 2012.
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ELISHA BEN AVUYAH — ELISHA BEN AVUYAH, tanna, quoted once in the Mishnah as saying: Learning in youth is like writing with ink on clean paper, but learning in old age is like writing with ink on blotted paper (Avot 4:20). From the position of this saying toward the… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Elisha ben Avuyah (Aher) — (fl. 2nd cent) Palestinian tanna. He was born in Jerusalem. He came to doubt the unity of God, divine punishment, and ultimately renounced Judaism. Although befriended by Meir, the rabbis dissociated themselves from him and referred to him as… … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
JACOB BEN KORSHAI — (second century), tanna. References in the Mishnah to Jacob, without a patronymic, are to be identified with Jacob b. Korshai (or Kodshai) as is shown by the same Mishnah being attributed to Jacob in Avot 4:16 and to Jacob b. Korshai in Leviticus … Encyclopedia of Judaism
RABBAH BEN SHILAH — (fl. late third early fourth century C.E.), Babylonian amora. His teacher was Ḥisda (Shab. 81a). Because of his aversion to bribery, Rabbah declared a judge unfit to try a case involving neighbors from whom he had borrowed anything (Ket. 105b).… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
RODIN, ELISHA — (1888–1946), Hebrew poet. Born in Mstislavl, Russia, Rodin became a bookkeeper. Between 1905 and 1907, he was active in the Jewish revolutionary movement in Lithuania and Poland. Excelling in Yiddish composition as a child, he published several… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
HEBREW LITERATURE, MODERN — definition and scope beginnings periodization … Encyclopedia of Judaism
HELLENISM — HELLENISM, term generally used by historians to refer to the period from the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.E.) to the death of Cleopatra and the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E. Egypt was the last important survivor … Encyclopedia of Judaism
STEINBERG, MILTON — (1903–1950), U.S. Conservative rabbi. Steinberg was born in Rochester, New York, and ordained a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary (1928). His first congregation was in Indianapolis, Indiana, and in 1933 he moved to the Park Avenue… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
LILIENBLUM, MOSES LEIB — (1843–1910), Hebrew writer, critic, and political journalist. Born in Kedainiai, near Kovno, Lilienblum was one of the leaders of the Haskalah in its last period and a leader of Hibbat Zion. His Life and Public Activity His first teachers were… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
LESSONS — singularity of the holocaust jewish faith after the holocaust impact of the holocaust Singularity of the Holocaust Look about and see Is there any agony like mine Which was dealt out to me When the Lord afflicted me (Lamentations 1:12) The… … Encyclopedia of Judaism