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NAHUM BEN SIMAI:

Palestinian amora of the third century; a son of the tanna Simai. He is cited as "Menahem" in Pes. 104a and in M. Ḳ. 25b. Nahum was called "the most holy man" (Yer. Meg. i. 72b; Yer. 'Ab. Zarah iii. 42c) and "the son of the saints (Pes. 104a), the reason given for these designations being that during his whole life he never looked at the portrait on a coin. At his funeral all the statues were covered up so that even in death he might not see the likeness of any person (Yer.'Ab. Zarah iii. 42c, above). A few of his halakic sayings have been preserved (Yer. Ber. viii. 7; Yer. Ma'as. i. 2, 48d; Pes. 104a). He is said to have preached a sermon at Tarsus in which he gave an allegorical explanation of Ex. xii. 3 (Pesiḳ. R. 15 [ed. Friedmann, p. 78b]). Nothing further is known concerning the circumstances of his life.

Bibliography:
  • Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 616;
  • Frankel, Mebo, pp. 116a, b.
W. B. J. Z. L.
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