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NEHEMIAH OF BETH-HORON:

Amora of the first generation; lived in the third century at Beth-horon, a small town northwest of Jerusalem. In the different sources he has various names, being called either "Neḥunya [his correct name; Suk. 44a] from the Valley of Beth-horon" (i.e., from lower Beth-horon, there being an upper town of this name), "Ḥunya of Horon" (Yer. Sheb. 38c), or "Ḥanina of Beth-horon" (Yer. 'Ab. Zarah 42c). He seems to have been highly respected, both as a scholar and as a pious man. His advice was frequently sought in the regulation of the calendar at Jerusalem; and it was said that whenever he went to the city for that purpose, the waters divided before him (ib.). Only a few of his halakic sentences have been preserved. R. Johanan transmits in his name some halakot said to be based on a very ancient tradition (Suk. 44a). Some haggadic sentences by him have also been preserved, e.g., Gen. R. lxxiii. and Yer. Ma'as. Sh. 55d, although this latter interpretation is ascribed in the Babylonian Talmud (M. Ḳ. 5a) to R. Abbahu.

Nehemiah had a learned son named Uzziel, who is mentioned in Yer. Ma'as. Sh. (l.c.). It appears, from a comparison of this passage in Yerushalmi with that in the Babylonian Gemara (M. Ḳ. 5a), that this son was named after his grandfather, who was apparently a prominent man, being called "Uzziel Rabba" = "Uzziel the Great" (M. Ḳ. l.c.).

Bibliography:
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, p. 127.
W. B. J. Z. L.
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