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BISNA, BISINAH, BISNI (BIZNA):

Palestinian scholar of the fourth amoraic generation (fourth century); contemporary of Berechiah II., with whom he appears in a halakic discussion (Yer. Ma'as. v. 52a—"Bisinah"; Yer. Ned. iii. 37d; Yer. Shebu. iii. 34d, where "Yosnah" is to be corrected). His name is connected with several Halakot, for the most part, however, as transmitting opinions of his predecessors and contemporaries (Yer. Pes. iv. 31a; Yer. M. Ḳ. i. 80a; Yer. Yeb. iii. 5a). In homiletic literature he also transmitted remarks in the names of others (Tan., Shemini, 8 [ed. Buber, xii.]; Gen. R. xiv. 9, "Bisni"; Deut. R. iv. 6).

In his own name but few Haggadot are preserved; of these, the following interpretation of a Biblical verse may serve as a specimen:

(Tan., Miḳḳeẓ, ed. Buber, xvi.; Yalḳuṭ 850 reads "Bizna")

"Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest out of thy law" (Ps. xciv. 12). "No man on earth is entirely exempt from pain. If his eye hurts him, he can not sleep; a toothache keeps him wakeful all night. But here is a scholar engaged in the study of the Law, and he spends a whole night in thoughtful meditations. The former is awake through pain, the latter voluntarily; blessed is he who chasteneth himself with wakefulness over the study of the Law".

Bibliography:
  • Frankel, Mebo, 68b;
  • Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 669.
J. Sr. S. M.
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