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AḤA (Aḥai; fourth century), Palestinian amora. Born in Lydda, Aḥa studied halakhah under R. *Yose b. Hanina and aggadah under R. *Tanḥum b. Ḥiyya, and transmitted the teachings of most of the contemporary Palestinian authorities. He is extensively quoted in the Jerusalem Talmud, but seldom in the Babylonian. His younger colleagues called him "the Light of Israel" (TJ, Shab. 6:9, 8c). His statement that "the Temple will be rebuilt before the reestablishment of the Davidic dynasty" possibly refers to his hopes for the rebuilding of the Temple by the Emperor *Julian the Apostate. Aḥa declared that "The Divine Presence (Shekhinah) never departed from the Western Wall of the Temple." An anti-Christian polemical note can be detected in some of his discourses, of which a typical example is: "'There is one that is alone; there is none other…' (Eccles. 4:8)… this refers to God, as it is written, 'The Lord is our God, the Lord is One,' 'there is none other' – i.e., He has no partner in His world; nor does He have a son or a brother." After the Musaf sermon on the Day of Atonement he would announce that whoever had children should go and give them food and drink (TJ, Yoma 6:4, 43d). He furthermore declared that anyone who inflicted excessive corporal punishment on a pupil should be excommunicated (TJ, MK 3:1, 81d). It is related that on the day of his death stars were visible at noontime (TJ, Av. Zar. 3:1, 42c).


Bacher, Pal Amor; Hyman, Toledot, S.V.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.