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Rabbah bar Ḥana

RABBAH BAR ḤANA (TJ, Abba bar Hana, e.g., in BM 5:5; early third century), Babylonian amora. In Babylon Rabbah studied under his uncle, Ḥiyya (MK 16b), whom he subsequently accompanied to Ereẓ Israel (MK 21a). Before they left to return to Babylon, Ḥiyya asked the nasi to give Rabbah permission to decide matters of ritual law, monetary cases, and defects in a firstborn animal which could render its slaughter permissible. Although such permission was rarely granted, the nasi acceded to the request (Sanh. 5a). Rabbah's closest colleague was Ray (TJ, BM 5:7, 10c), in whose company he is found both in Ereẓ Israel and in Babylon (MK 21a; Hul. 44b), with whom he held halakhic discussions (Ḥul. 8b), and in whose name he transmitted teachings (Shab. 50a; Nid. 47a). It is related that when Rabbah was once in mourning and thought that he ought not to give his regular lecture, Rav said, "We have learned, 'if the public have need of him, he does not refrain'" (MK 21a). Little is known of Rabbah's personal life, other than that he traded in wine (BM 83a, see Dik. Sof. ibid.) and that his wife died before him (BB 52a). His only known pupil was Hananel (MK 19a). Rabbah b. Ḥana is frequently confused with *Rabbah b. Bar ḤHana who, some believe, was his son. They can be distinguished only by context and chronology.


Hyman, Toledot.

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