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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works


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Rabbah bar Naḥmani
Hebrew Name(s): רבה בר נחמני
Other Names: Rabbah, Rabbah bar Nachmani
Period: Amoraim — Third Century
Location: Sura & Pumbedita, Babylonia
Dates: c. 270–330

Rabbah bar Naḥmani was a Third Generation Babylonian Talmudist, an Amora who studied at both the academy at Sura and the academy at Pumbedita. He was recognized as a great scholar for his ability to argue texts, resolve contradictions and apply learning. His ability to struggle with the text to extract solutions earned him the nickname "oker harim", "uprooter of mountains." His specialty was ritual purity and he was reputed to be a good teacher with a sense of humor, beginning each lesson with a joke.
Rabbah succeeded Judah ben Ezekiel as head of the academy at Pumbedita and remained there until his death. He was loved by his students. He taught his nephew Abaye, and had a son, Rabbah.


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