SHEKANZIB, town in Babylonia situated on the Tigris River between the settlements of Sikara and Humaniya. The first known reference to the existence of a Jewish settlement in Shekanzib is in the second half of the third century C.E. *Sherira Gaon relates that one of his ancestors, *Rabbah b. Avuha, settled there after the partial destruction of Nehardea by Papa b. Nazer in 259 C.E. (Iggeret Rav Sherira Ga'on, ed. by B.M. Lewin (1921), 82). Naḥman of Nehardea paid occasional visits to Shekanzib (Yoma 18b). Concerning the character of the Jews of Shekanzib the Talmud relates: Our holy teacher commanded his children four things (one of which was): Do not live in Shekanzib because its people are frivolous and will affect you with their frivolity (Pes. 112b). "Our holy teacher" usually refers to Judah I ha-Nasi, who died in the year 219 C.E., and if the reading is correct it would show that the inhabitants of Shekanzib already had a bad reputation at the beginning of the third century even in Ereẓ Israel. Some, however, read simply "our teacher" (see Kohut, Arukh, 8 (19262), 73 S.V. Shekanzib), and the reference may be to Rav or to Rava, who described the funeral customs of Shekanzib (MK 28b).
Neubauer, Geogr, 363; J. Obermeyer, Die Landschaft Babylonien (1929), 190–2; A. Berliner, Beitraege zur Geographie und Ethnographie Babyloniens (1884), 64f. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Eshel, Jewish Settlements in Babylonia during Talmudic Times (1979), 241.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.