HILLEL (third century C.E.), scholar. Hillel was the son of *Gamaliel III and the grandson of *Judah ha-Nasi, to whom it would seem in his youth he put halakhic queries (BB 83b). He was the younger brother of *Judah Nesiah. He is mentioned as having paid visits, together with his brother, to Kabul in Lower Galilee and Biri in Upper Galilee, where they were mocked at by the local inhabitants for not acting in accordance with local custom (Tosef., MK 2:15; Pes. 51a). They undertook to conform with the local custom. When they visited R. Zakkai in Kabul "the citizens poured out wine and oil in profusion before them" (Tosef., Shab. 7:17). Hillel is mentioned in several places as a teacher of beraitot (Kid. 75a; Git. 37a; Naz. 44b), and he may have been one of the "tannaim of the house of Rabbi" (Judah ha-Nasi). Some of the sayings given in tractate Avot in the name of "Hillel" may be his. Some regard him as the author of the possibly anti-Christian saying in Sanhedrin 99a: "There shall be no Messiah for Israel, because they have already enjoyed him in the days of Hezekiah" (Graetz).


Graetz-Rabbinowitz, 2 (1893), 318–9, 325, 488; Graetz, in: MGWJ, 30 (1881), 433–42; Krauss, in: JQR, 5 (1892/93), 139–40, 156; H. Albeck, Shisah Sidrei Mishnah: Nezikin (1959), 349–50, n. 12; Epstein, Mishnah, 1 (19642), 46–47; Hyman, Toledot, s.v.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.