Tanna of priestly descent; contemporary of Akiba and Ishmael (Bek. vii. 5). It is supposed that in his youth he had witnessed the service of the Temple of Jerusalem, since he knew the fluters that played before the altar (Tosef., 'Ar. i. 15; comp. 'Ar. ii. 4). If this were so, Ḥanina must have enjoyed unusual longevity, as he often appears in halakic controversy with Akiba's latest disciples. Be this as it may, he was learned in the laws relating to the priests, and many such laws are preserved in his name (Ḳid. iv. 5; Bek. vi. 3, 10, 11; vii. 2, 5; Tem. vi. 5), while precedents reported by him regarding the services and appurtenances of the Temple influenced later rabbinical opinions. On marital questions also he is often cited as an authority (Yeb. xiii. 2; Niddah vi. 13 [comp. ib. Gem. 52b], viii. 2), as well as on other matters (Sheb. vi. 3; 'Er. iv. 8). Some halakic midrashim also have come down from him (Bek. vii. 2, 5; Mek., Yitro, Baḥodesh, 6); but of haggadot there is only one under his name. He says: "Whosoever practises the precept concerning the fringes on the borders of [] garments (Num. xv. 38 et seq.) will realize the promise: 'Ten men . . . shall take hold of the skirt of [] him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you'" (Zech. viii. 23). "On the other hand," continues Ḥanina, "he who violates the precept concerning the skirt [] is included in the verse 'take hold of the ends of [] the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it'" (Job xxxviii. 13; Sifre, Num. 115). According to him, when an aged man dies after not more than three days' sickness, his death may be termed "excision" ( = "cutting off"; see Jew Encyc. iv. 484, s.v. Death), a visitation for secret violations of the Sabbath or of the dietary laws (Sem. iii. 10).

  • Bacher, Ag. Tan. i. 378;
  • Brüll, Mebo ha-Mishnah, i. 131;
  • Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah, p. 128;
  • Weiss, Dor, ii. 121.
J. S. M.
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