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ELIEZER (ELEAZAR) B. ZADOK:

  • 1. Tanna of the first century; disciple of Johanan the Horonite (Tosef., Suk. ii. 3; Yeb. 15b). He traced his descent from Shinhab or Senaah of the tribe of Benjamin ('Er. 41a; Ta'an. 12a). In his youth he saw the Temple in its glory (Mid. iii. 8; Suk. 49a; Sanh. 52b; Men. 88b), and later witnessed its destruction by the Romans (Tosef., Ket. v. 9; Lam. R. i. 5). During his residence in Jerusalem he, in partnership with Abba Saul b. Baṭnit, conducted a wine and oil business (Tosef., Beẓah, iii. 8). He is reported to have acquired from some Alexandrian Jews a building formerly used as a private synagogue (Tosef., Meg. iii. [ii.] 6; Yer. Meg. iii. 72d). The partners were generally applauded for their fairness and piety (Tosef., Beẓah, l.c.).After the destruction of Jerusalem, Eliezer is found at Acco (Acre), where, as he himself relates, he witnessed the distress of his vanquished people. There he saw the daughter of the once fabulously rich Nicodemus b. Gorion of Jerusalem risking her life at the hoofs of horses to pick up the grains which they had dropped (Ket. 67a; Lam. R. i. 16; compare Yer. Ket. v. 30b et seq.). Another prominent Jewish woman, Miriam, the daughter of Simon b. Gorion (perhaps Giora, the leader of the Zealots, who surrendered to Titus; see Josephus, "B. J." vii. 2), Eliezer saw tied by her tresses to the tail of a horse, and thus dragged behind the Roman horsemen (Yer. Ket. v. 30c; compare Lam. R. l.c.). Later he is found at Jabneh, a frequent visitor at the residence of Patriarch Gamaliel II. (Tosef., Beẓah, ii. 13 et seq.; Pes. 37a; Beẓah 22b), and a member of the Sanhedrin (Shab. 11a; Niddah 48b), where he frequently related personal observations which he had made in the days of Judea's independence (Tosef., Pes. vii. 13; compare Yer. Pes. viii. 36b; Tosef., Suk. ii. 10; Tosef., Meg. iii. 15; Tosef., Sanh. ix. 11; Tosef., Kelim, B. B. ii. 2); and on some of his reports the Sanhedrin founded halakot (Pes. x. 3, 116b; B. B. 14a; Men. 40a).The frequency of his reminiscences in Talmudic literature forms the strongest argument for the assumption that he was the first compiler of a now lost treatise on mourning called "Ebel Zuṭarta" (see Brüll, "Jahrb." i. 16-26; Klotz, "Ebel Rabbati," pp. 3 et seq.). How long he remained in Jabneh is not stated; but he did not end his days there. According to a Talmudic notice (M. Ḳ. 20a; Sem. xii.), he died at Ginzaḳ (Gazaca) in Media, far away from his family; and his son, Zadok II., learned of his death only after the lapse of three years.
  • 2. Grandson of the preceding; flourished in the fourth tannaitic generation (second century). He is often met with in halakic controversies with the later disciples of Akiba (Kil. vii. 2; Kelim xxvi. 9; Miḳ. vi. 10). Like his grandfather, he spent many years in Babylonia, where Abba Arika's father studied under him (Suk. 44b; see Aibu, 1). Unlike his grandfather, in whose name no practical decisions are on record, he decided questions submitted to him (Suk. l.c.); and his own acts are cited as illustrations in ritualistic law (ib.; Tosef., Suk. ii. 2; Yer. Sanh. vii. 24b; the illustration of the Tosefta is anachronistically ascribed to the elder Eliezer b. Zadok).
Bibliography:
  • Bacher, Ag. Tan. i. 50-55;
  • Brüll, Mebo ha-Mishnah, i. 91-93;
  • Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah, pp. 97-99, 178;
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ed. Maskileison, ii. 59a, 68b;
  • Weiss, Dor, ii. 121;
  • Zacuto, Yuḥasin, ed. Filipowski, pp. 26a, 58a.
S. S. S. M.
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