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Hanina ben Hakinai

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Title: Hanina ben Hakinai  
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Hanina ben Hakinai

Rabbinical Eras

Hanina ben Hakinai or Hanania ben Hakinai (Hebrew: חנינא בן חכינאי) was a Tanna of the 2nd century; contemporary of Ben 'Azzai and Simon the Temanite (Tosef., Ber. iv. 18; see Ḥalafta). Sometimes he is cited without his prænomen (Sifra, Emor, vii. 11; Shab. 147b).


Who were his early teachers are not known. From some versions of the Tosefta (l.c.) it appears that Tarfon was one of them, but that his regular teacher was R. Akiba. It is related that he took leave of his wife and attended Akiba 12 or 13 years without communicating with his family, whom he recovered in a remarkable way (Ket. 62b; Lev. R. xxi. 8). He was one of the few who, though not regularly ordained, were permitted to "argue cases before the sages" (דנין לפני חכמים: Sanh. 17b; comp. Yer. Ma'as. Sh. ii. 53d). Several halakot have been preserved in his name, owing their preservation to Eleazar b. Jacob II (Kil. iv. 8; Mak. iii. 9; Tosef., Ṭoh. vi. 3; Ḳid. 55b); and he also left some halakic midrashim (Sifra, Meẓora', v. 16; Sifra, Emor, vii. 11, comp. Shab. 110b; Men. 62b, comp. Sifra, Emor, xiii. 8).


Hananiah also delved into the "mysteries of the Creation," concerning which he consulted R. Akiba (Ḥag. 14b); and he appears as the author of several homiletic remarks. According to him, God's relation to distressed Israel is expressed in Solomon's words (Prov. xvii. 17): "A brother is born for adversity"; by "brother" is understood "Israel," for it is elsewhere said (Ps. cxxii. 8): "For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee" (Yalḳ., Ex. 233; comp. Mek., Beshallaḥ, iii.). With reference to Lev. v. 21 (vi. 2) ("If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and lie unto his neighbor," etc.), he remarks, "No man lies [acts dishonestly] against his fellow man unless he first becomes faithless to God" (Tosef., Shebu. iii. 6). From a comparatively late date comes the statement that Hananiah b. Ḥakinai was one of the "ten martyrs" (see Zunz, G. V. 2d ed., p. 150; see also Masseket Aẓilut).

Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography

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