BENJAMIN B. LEVI, R.:
A Palestinian amora of the fourth century (third or fourth generation), junior contemporary of R. Ammi and R. Isaac (Yer. Peah i. 15a), and senior to Abin II. (Yer. Pes. vii. 34c; Yer. Hor. i. 46a). His name is connected with several Halakot (Yer. Ter. i. 40b; Yer. Pes. ii. 28d; Yer. 'Ab. Zarah ii. 42a, where his patronymic reads "Levaï"), but more frequently with homiletic remarks. On God's message by Jeremiah (xxiii. 24), "Can one hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him ["er'ennu"]?" he observes, "When one sitteth in a corner and occupieth himself with the study of the Law, I show him ["ar'ennu"] to the public, or when he hides himself for sinful purposes of apostasy, I expose him to public gaze" (Ex. R. viii.; Tan., Wa'era, 9; compare Num. R. ix. 9). According to him, when the time for Israel's restoration shall come, there will be a change in the order of nature; at present when the north wind blows no south wind prevails, and when the south wind prevails there is no north wind; but when God shall restore the exiled, He shall produce an "argestes" (see Jastrow, "Dict." p. 115b), when both winds shall do service, as it is written (Isa. xliii. 6), "I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far," etc. (Esther R. to i. 8; Cant. R. to iv. 16; Lev. R. ix.; Num. R. xiii.).—[Gen. R. lxxxvii.; Midr. Teh. lxxxvii. 2; Pesiḳ. xiii. 112a, xviii. 137a; Pesiḳ. R. xviii.; Lev. R. xxviii.; compare Eccl. R. to i. 3.]
- Frankel, Mebo, 69b;
- Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 661 et seq.