Rabbah, bar-Nachamani

(c. 270–c. 321)
   Babylonian amora. Rabbah was one of the most famous Babylonian amoraim and for twenty-two years was head of the academy of Pumbedita. He was a descendant of Eli, the high priest (I Sam.) on whom a curse rested, and Rabbah’s early death was attributed to this cause.
   Rabbah may have been in Palestine for a short time, studying under JO- CHANAN BEN-NAPPACHA at Tiberias. He was a popular teacher and usually began his lectures with a witty or amus-ing remark to put his pupils at ease. Under his leadership the standing of the Pumbedita academy rose to great heights, but though pupils flocked there to study under him, he was extremely unpopular with the citizens of the town, whose behaviour he constantly criticized. They in turn informed on him to the authorities when he advised twelve hundred people not to pay their taxes, and he was forced to flee. He wandered around in the forest near Pumbedita and his body was eventually found shielded from the wild animals, it is said, by the wings of birds.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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