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YIẒḤAḲ BEN PARNAK:

Palestinian amora of uncertain period. He is named as the author of an apocryphal work entitled , which describes the events that take place at the death of a human being. When a man is dying three angels come to his bedside—the angel of death, the recording angel, and the guardian angel; and these three review his entire life. If he has been a pious man, three more angels appear; and while the struggle with death is going on one of these angels recites Isa. lvii. 1, the second ib. lvii. 2, and the third ib. lviii. 8. At last four more angels descend to the bedside; and when the dying man cries out to the earth to help him, the first angel answers him with the words of Ps. xxiv. 1; when he implores the aid of his relatives, the second angel recites Ps. xlix. 8 (A. V. 7); when he turns to his money for solace, the third angel answers him with Ps. xlix. 9 (A. V. 8); and when he appeals to his good deeds, the fourth angel recites Isa. lviii. 8. There is clearly some influence here of the Buddhist legend of "The Three Friends" (comp. "Barlaam and Josaphat," ed. Jacobs, Appendix). Yiẓḥaḳ's father, Parnak, transmitted in the name of Johanan (Gen. R. liii., end; M. Ḳ. 9a; Shab. 14a; B. M. 85a).

Bibliography:
  • Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. i. 219, note 3; iii. 767-768;
  • Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrash, v. 48-49, Vienna, 1873.
J. S. O.
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