TEḤINA, ABBA (called also Teḥina ben Perisha ["the Pharisee"] or Ḥasida ["the pious one"]):
By: Kaufmann Kohler
A leader of the Zealots. Together with Eleazar Ben Dinai, he is mentioned in the remarkable dictum of Johanan ben Zakkai concerning the Zealots: "Since the murderers have increased, the expiation ceremony of the 'eglah 'arufah [the heifer whose neck is broken for a murder the perpetrator of which is unknown; Deut. xxi. 1-9] has come into abeyance because of the many murders by these only too well-known Zealots. Such murderers are Eleazar ben Dinai and Teḥina, who was formerly called 'the Pharisee' and later on received the name of 'the Murderer'" (Soṭah ix. 9; Sifre, Deut. 205).
This Teḥina has aptly been identified by Derenbourg ("Essai sur l'Histoire et la Géographie de la Palestine d'Après les Thalmuds et les Autres Sources Rabbiniques," i. 279-280, Paris, 1867) with the Abba Teḥina Ḥasida of Eccl. R. ix. 7. Derenbourg, however, takes the epithet "Ḥasid" to be ironical; but he ignores the very nature of the passage to which he refers and which is as follows: "Teḥina the Essene [Ḥasid] with the title Abba see Kohler, "Abba, Father," in "J. Q. R." xiii. 567-575], returning to his native town on Friday afternoon shortly before the beginning of the Sabbath, and carrying upon his shoulder a bundle containing the provisions for his household for the Sabbath, met a disease-stricken man unable to move, who asked him to have pity on him and bring him into the town, where his wants might receive the necessary attention. This placed Teḥina in a quandary: he was afraid if he left his bundle he might lose all his Sabbath provisions; and if he did not aid the sick man, he (Teḥina) would be accounted as guilty of death. His better impulses proving victorious, he carried the sick man to a safe place, and then went back for his bundle. Meanwhile it had grown dark; and the people, seeing him carry a bundle on Sabbath eve, wondered, saying, 'Is this Abba Teḥina the Pious?' Teḥina himself was in doubt as to whether he had really violated the Sabbath, when a miracle happened: God caused the sun again to shine forth to show that the Sabbath had not yet begun, as it is written (Mal. iii. 20 [A. V. iv. 2]): 'But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.'" Later the punctilious Essene became a fierce Zealot ( see Zealots).
Eleazar ben Dinai is mentioned by Josephus several times, while Teḥina is not. He has been identified with the Alexander mentioned together with Eleazar b. Dinai by that author (Josephus, "B. J." ii. 12, § 4; see Eleazar Ben Dinai); but Alexander appears to be identical with Amram, cited as companion of Ben Dinai in "Ant." xx. 1, § 1 (comp. Cant. R. iii. 5: "In the days of Amram. [?] and in the days of Ben Dinai they attempted to bring about the Messianic time by violence "; see Grätz, "Gesch." 3d ed., iii. 431), whereas it is quite possible that Teḥina is identical with Ἀννιβας who was executed by order of Fadus (Josephus, "Ant." l.c.; Grätz, l.c. p. 278).