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GAMALIEL:

Name which occurs in the Bible only as a designation of the prince of the tribe of Manasseh (Num. i. 10; ii. 20; vii. 54, 59; x. 23). In post-Biblical times the name occurs with special frequency in the family of Hillel. In a story in connection with a proselyte made to Judaism by Hillel, and which is supported by reliable tradition, it is said that the proselyte had two sons born to him after his conversion, whom he named in gratitude "Hillel" and "Gamaliel" (Ab. R. N. xv. [ed. Schechter, p. 62]; Midr. ha-Gadol, ed. Schechter, to Ex. xxviii.; see note ad loc.). Perhaps Hillel's father, was called "Gamaliel," in which case the usual custom would have required the giving of this name to Hillel's first-born son. Besides the six patriarchs of the name of Gamaliel, tradition knows of others of the same name who lived in Palestine in the third and fourth centuries, and who are reckoned among the Palestinian amoraim.

Bibliography:
  • Frankel, Mebo Yerushalmi, pp. 7la-72b.
S. S. W. B.
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