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BEZALEL:

Palestinian amora of the fourth century, who is known in Midrashic literature only as the author of haggadistic sentences. Two of these have been handed down by Berechiah, the well-known haggadist and transmitter of haggadistic traditions. In Pesiḳ. xxi. 145b (where the name is corrupted, but easily recognizable) Bezalel interprets the peculiar form "kehaḥallonot" () (Ezek. xl. 25) by saying, "The windows of the Temple were 'kehot' [dull] (); they were opaque, narrow within, and widening toward the exterior, in order to send light forth to the world." The second saying reported by Berechiah in the name of Bezalel is a simile referring to Ex. xxv. 40 (Cant. R. iii. 11; in Pesiḳ. i. 4b, and in other parallel passages the name is miswritten or has dropped out). A third sentence contains an allegoric explanation of Hosea ii. 7 [A. V. 5]. "Her 'mother' is the Torah, which, like a harlot, becomes an object of contempt among the ignorant, when those who are engaged in its study make the Law contemptible by their conduct." Bezalel gave this explanation in answer to a question which the above-mentioned Berechiah asked him (Ruth R. i. 1 [parashah 1], where the name of Berechiah has been omitted by mistake).

Bibliography:
  • Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 666.
J. Sr. W. B.
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