Abdima (Dimi) bar Hamar (sometimes with the addition b. Ḥasa):
A Palestinian who immigrated into Babylonia; senior contemporary of Raba and Joseph, of the fourth century. His name is connected with but a small number of Halakot, and only few of his Haggadot are preserved. Commenting on the words of Moses (Deut. xxx. 11-13), "This commandment is not in the heaven. . . Neither is it beyond the sea," he observes: "And were it even so: were the Law in heaven, it would be man's duty to ascend to obtain it; were it beyond the seas, he would be obliged to cross them in quest of it" ('Er. 55a). In using Biblical texts for homiletic purposes he follows the usual method of straining the text, or playing upon similarities of expression or even of sound; for example, the Biblical statement (Ex. xix. 17), "They stood at the base (betaḥtit) of the mount," he construes as implying that "the Holy One—blessed be He!—had bent the mountain over the Israelites, saying to them, 'If you accept the Law it will be well; otherwise here will be your grave'" (Shab. 88a; 'Ab. Zarah, 2b). Elsewhere he is reported as interpreting the term "Taanath" in the passage (Josh. xvi. 6), "And the border went about eastward unto Taanath-shiloh," as if it were related to taaniyah (sorrow) or to anaḥ (to sigh); and, therefore, he understands by Taanath-shiloh the spot at the sight of which man is reminded of the sacrificial rites once practised in Shiloh, and sighs at their discontinuance (Zeb. 118a et seq.; compare "Diḳduḳe Soferim," l.c., and Yalḳ., Deut. § 881). In Yer. Meg. i. 72d a different interpretation of the same text, but also taking Taanath in the sense of sorrow, is reported in the name of R. Abdima of Sepphoris.