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Josiah

JOSIAH (third century C.E.), Palestinian amora. Josiah was a pupil of Johanan, in whose name he transmitted teachings (TJ, Kil. 9:4, 32b; Ḥul. 128a; et al.). He also studied under Kahana (TJ, RH 1:1, 56d), who upon his death ordered that part of his legacy be given to Josiah (TJ, Sanh. 3:9, 21d; cf. Gen. R. ed. by Theodor and Ḥ. Albeck (19652) 53n. 1). He discussed halakhic problems with Eleazar b. Pedat (Sot. 19a; et al.), and some of his other colleagues were Ḥiyya b. Abba, Ammi, and Assi (TJ, Ta'an. 2:1, 65a–b). On one occasion, when preaching on a public fast day, he interpreted hitkosheshu va-koshu (Zeph. 2:1) as if the verb were from the root kash, meaning stubble, and rendering it as "let us remove our own stubble before removing the stubble of others," i.e., "let us mend our own ways before pointing out other peoples' faults" (TJ, Ta'an. 2:1, 65a–b; and cf. BM 107b). He was held in high esteem by his contemporaries. When Isaac b. Redifa came to ask a halakhic question of Jeremiah, the latter replied, "the lions are available and you enquire of the foxes! Go and ask Josiah" (TJ, Shev. 9:5, 39a). A number of amoraim with the name Josiah are mentioned in the Talmud, and it is possible that one of them, Josiah of Usha (Git. 33b; et al.), is the same as this Josiah.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Heinemann, Toledot, 531f.; Frankel, Mevo, 90b, 109b; Ḥ. Albeck, Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), 243.