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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works


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Ḥanina ben Ḥama
Hebrew Name(s): חנינא בר חמא
Other Names: Hanina, Rabbi Ḥanina, Ḥanina bar Ḥama
Period: Amoraim — 3rd Century
Location: Palestine
Dates: d. c. 250

Ḥanina ben Ḥama was a First Generation Palestinian Amora, a Talmudist, halakhist and haggadist. He is frequently quoted in both the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds and in Midrashim. He is frequently cited as R. Ḥanina, and often with the designation "The Great." Ḥanina ben Ḥama studied under Bar Ḳappara and Ḥiyya the Great (Ḥiyya ben Abba Rabbah) and later was attached to the academy of Judah HaNasi (Judah the Prince) in Sepphoris where he acquired his practical and theoretical knowledge (PT. Nid. ii. 50b) and dialectical ability.
Ḥanina ben Ḥama became a close personal friend of Judah HaNasi and many years after the latter's death assumed the role of principal of the academy. He was an acknowledged authority in halakhah and also a practicing physician.


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