MANI


MANI (Mana II; fourth century C.E.), Palestinian amora. His teachers were firstly his father *Jonah, R. Yose (TJ, Ter. 8:9, 46a; Sanh. 3:6, 21a), and then R. Judah III (TJ, Pes. 6:1, 33a; Beẓah 1:1, 60a); he also referred to Hezekiah as his teacher (TJ, Ber. 3:5, 6d, et al.). He visited Caesarea where he attended lectures by R. Isaac b. Eliashib (Ta'an. 23b) and other scholars of that town (e.g., Oshaya b. Shemi, Zerikah, etc). In his early years he lived in Tiberias, but later R. Ḥanina (or Hananiah), the head of the academy in Sepphoris, retired in his favor (TJ, Pes. 6:1, 33a) and he remained there until his death (Eccl. R. 11:3). He held halakhic discussions with Zeira II (Mak. 22a). Z. Frankel dates his death in 399 C.E. (the view of I. Halevy that it was before 355 is untenable). It is not known whether he outlived R. Judah III (the statement in Weiss, Dor, vol. 3, p. 102 is due to a mistranslation of a passage in TJ, Ber. 3:1, 6a: "When R. Judah's sister died, Mani did not attend her funeral"). He appears to have been strict and uncompromising in his halakhic rulings, and he expressed his strong doubts as to the correctness of the permission granted by his father and R. Yose for bread to be baked on the Sabbath for the army of Ursicinus (c. 353 C.E.; TJ, Sanh. 3:5, 21b), despite that fact, in a case of extreme emergency he permitted the bakers of Sepphoris to sell their bread in the market on the Sabbath for the army of Proclus (ibid.; see Lieberman, in: JQR, 36 (1946), 352–3). He also refused to agree that agricultural activity take place during the sabbatical year in a place called Yabluna on the grounds that it was not in Ereẓ Israel proper. On one occasion he strongly disapproved of his teacher, Judah, making appointments for money (TJ, Bik. 3:3, 65d). Most of his teachings are in halakhah, but the few in aggadah are of great interest. He explained Saul's reluctance to exterminate the Amalekites, including their children and cattle, on the grounds that they were innocent according to the Torah (Yoma 22b). He also taught that reciting the Shema at its proper time was greater than studying the Torah (Ber. 10b). Mani was apparently not altogether easy to get on with. Not only was he not on good terms with the patriarch and his household, who distressed him so much that he had to pray for relief, but in his domestic life he was also unhappy (Ta'an. 23b).

In addition to R. Mani, there was an earlier amora called Mana and it is not always certain which is meant. In Ecclesiastes Rabbah 5:4–5 both are found.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Weiss, Dor, 3 (19044), 102–3; Halevy, Dorot, 2 (1923), 373–84; Hyman, Toledot, S.V.; Epstein, Mishnah, 399–404; Ḥ. Albeck, Mavo la-Talmudim (1969), 398.

[Harry Freedman]


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