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Wilhelm Bacher, Ph.D.

Professor, Jewish Theological Seminary, Budapest, Hungary.

Contributions:
PESHAṬ – Term denoting simple Scriptural exegesis, and derived from the verb "pashaṭ." "Pashaṭ" in late Biblical Hebrew, as well as in the Mishnah, means "to spread," "to stretch out," and is figuratively used, therefore, in the sense of...
PETHAHIAH B. JACOB HA-LABAN – Traveler; born at Prague; flourished between 1175 and 1190. He journeyed from Ratisbon (Regensburg) to the East, traveling through Poland, southern Russia, Armenia, Persia, Babylon, and Palestine. His notes of the journey, part...
PHINEHAS BEN JAIR – Tanna of the fourth generation; lived, probably at Lydda, in the second half of the second century; son-in-law of Simeon ben Yoḥai and a fellow disciple of Judah I. He was more celebrated for piety than for learning, although...
PROVERBS, MIDRASH TO – Haggadic midrash to Proverbs, first mentioned, under the title "Midrash Mishle," by R. Hananeel b. Ḥushiel (first half of the 11th cent.) as quoted in "Mordekai" on B. M. iii. 293. Nathan of Rome calls this midrash "Agadat...
PSALMS, MIDRASH TO (Midrash Tehillim) – Haggadic midrash, known since the eleventh century, when it was quoted by Nathan of Rome in his "'Aruk" (s.v. ), by R. Isaac b. Judah ibn Ghayyat in his "Halakot" (1b), and by Rashi in his commentary on I Sam. xvii. 49, and on...
PUNCTUATION – When the Biblical text received its final form in the schools of Palestine during the first and second centuries, and the Masorah began its task of preserving this text, it consisted exclusively of letters to which were added no...
RABA – Babylonian amora of the third generation. The exact time at which he lived is uncertain, although he was a friend of 'Ulla, the pupil of R. Johanan (Yeb. 77a; Ḥag. 25b). His comments are mentioned before those of Raba b. Joseph...
RABA (B. JOSEPH B. ḤAMA) – Babylonian amora of the fourth generation; born about 280 C.E. at Maḥoza (where his father was a wealthy and distinguished scholar); died there in 352 (Sherira, in Neubauer, "M. J. C." i. 32). In his youth Raba went to Sura,...
RABA B. ADA – Babylonian amora of the third generation; pupil of R. Judah b. Ezekiel at Pumbedita (Beẓah 33b). He quoted sayings by Rab which he had heard from his (Raba's) father or from R. Judah (Men. 39a; Yoma 53b; comp. Ta'an. 24b), and...
RABAI OF ROB – Youngest sabora of the first generation; succeeded R. Simona as head of the Academy of Pumbedita; died in 550. Sherira says of him, "It is said that he was a gaon." This, however, does not mean that he was the first gaon....
RABBAH B. ABUHA – Babylonian amora of the second generation; teacher and father-in-law of R. Naḥman b. Jacob. He was related to the house of the exilarchs (Letter of Sherira Gaon, in Neubauer, "M. J. C." i. 23; Halevy, "Dorot ha-Rishonim," ii....
RABBAH GAON (MAR RABA) – Gaon at Pumbedita from 640 to 650 (Halevy, "Dorot ha-Rishonim," iii. 177; comp. "Sefer ha-'Iṭṭur," i. 59b); or, according to Grätz, from 670 to 680. He was a contemporary of Huna, gaon of Sura. These two school leaders were the...
RABBAH B. ḤANA (R. ABBA B. ḤANA OF KAFRI) – Babylonian amora of the first generation; nephew of R. Ḥiyya and cousin of Abba Arika (Rab; Sanh. 5a). Like Rab, he went to Palestine, where he was one of the prominent pupils of Judah ha-Nasi I. When he was about to return to...
RABBAH BAR BAR ḤANA – Babylonian amora of the second generation; grandson of Ḥana, the brother of Ḥiyya. He went to Palestine and became a pupil of R. Johanan, whose sayings he transmitted. Rabbah bar bar Ḥana (Rabbah bar Rabbah bar Ḥana) does not...
RABBAH B. ḤANAN – Babylonian amora of the fourth generation; pupil of Rabbah bar Naḥmani and a colleague of Abaye, who was of the same age and had been his fellow student (Ber. 48a, according to the correct reading; comp. Rabbinowitz, "Variæ...
RABBAH B. ḤIYYA OF CTESIPHON – Babylonian amora of the second generation. He is said to have performed the ceremony of ḥaliẓah in a manner which was considered allowable only by one tanna, the majority disapproving. For this he was censured by R. Samuel (Yeb....
RABBAH B. HUNA – Babylonian amora of the third generation; died in 322; son of R. Huna, the head of the Academy of Sura (Heilprin, "Seder ha-Dorot," ii. 167b). He was a man of true piety (Shab. 31a, b) and genuine modesty (M. Ḳ. 28a; comp. Giṭ....
RABBAH B. LIWAI – Babylonian amora of the fourth generation; contemporary of Raba b. Joseph b. Ḥama, two of whose decisions he proved to be wrong, thus compelling their annulment (Pes. 40b; 'Ab. Zarah 65b). A saying of his has been preserved...
RABBAH B. MARI – Babylonian amora of the fourth generation, who resided for a time in Palestine and then returned to his home (Yoma 78a), where he transmitted aphorisms of R. Johanan (B. Ḳ. 92a) and especially of R. Joshua b. Levi (Ber. 42b,...
RABBAH B. MATNA – Babylonian amora of the fourth generation; contemporary and colleague of R. Zera II. Rabbah was slow and careful in his methods, and his conclusions were generally correct and were accepted as authoritative in practical matters...
RABBAH B. NAḤMAN B. JACOB – Babylonian amora of the third generation; contemporary of Rabbah b. Huna, with whom he was closely associated. The latter visited him at his home (Shab. 119a), and once sent him a question, addressing him with the words, "May...
RABBAH B. NAḤMANI – Babylonian amora of the third generation; born about 270; died about 330; a descendant of a priestly family of Judea which traced its lineage to the prophet Eli (R. H. 18a). He was a pupil of R. Huna at Sura and of R. Judah b....
RABBAH OF PARZIḲI – Babylonian amora of the sixth generation; contemporary of R. Ashi, with whom he often had discussions (Soṭah 26b; Pes. 76b; B. Ḳ. 36a). His learned son Huna also was a pupil of R. Ashi.Bibliography: Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ii....
RABBAH B. SAMUEL – Babylonian amora of the second half of the third century; son of Mar Samuel of Nehardea. He was an associate of R. Ḥiyya bar Abba, to whom he addressed a question (Zeb. 105a, where he is called Abba), of R. Ḥisda (B. Ḳ. 98b),...
RABBAH B. SHELA – Babylonian amora of the fourth generation; contemporary of Raba, and a judge (Ket. 104b), probably at Pumbedita. His strict honesty is shown by a judicial maxim of his which states that a judge may not borrow anything from those...