NEHAR PEKOD, according to earlier scholars a town in the district of Nehardea (Babylonia), and according to more recent research, between Sura and Nippur. Nehar Pekod gained note after the tanna R. Hananiah, the nephew of the tanna R. Joshua b. Hananiah, settled there following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in Ereẓ Israel (Sanh. 32b). The town seems to have rapidly developed into a major center of Jewish life. R. Hananiah tried to establish a bet midrash and a Sanhedrin with the authority to continue the practice of intercalating years and fixing months, an authority which was a privilege of Ereẓ Israel (see Ber. 63a–b; Sanh. 32b; TJ, Sanh. 1:1, 19a). The reactivated leadership in Ereẓ Israel immediately intervened and quashed this separatist move. It is reported that R. Hananiah died and was buried in Nehar Pekod. Further testimony about the town and its Sages stems from the geonic period.


A. Berliner, Beitraege zur Geographie und Ethnographie Babyloniens im Talmud und Midrasch, in: Jahres-Bericht des Rabbiner-Seminars zu Berlin pro 5643 (18821883), 52; J. Ober-meyer, Die Landschaft Babylonien im Zeitalter des Talmuds und des Gaonats (1929), 270–6; Neusner, History, 1–2 (1965–66), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Eshel, Jewish Settlements in Babylonia during Talmudic Times (1979), 157–58.

[Eliyahu Hirschberg]

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