ISE (ISI, JOSE) BEN JUDAH:
Palestinian tanna of the second century; contemporary of Simeon ben Yoḥai and of R. Meïr. Bacher thinks it probable that Ise ben Judah is identical with both Jose the Babylonian and Jose of the "Babylonian village," of whom the following maxim is quoted in the "Sayings of the Fathers": "He who learns from the young, what is he like? Like one that eats unripe grapes, and drinks wine from his vat. He who learns from the old, what is he like? Like one that eats ripe grapes, and drinks old wine" (iv. 28). Ise ben Judah was distinguished by the high esteem in which he held his colleagues, whose learning and ability he characterized in the most flattering terms (Giṭ. 67a). Want of mutual respect is, according to him, the sin which brings premature death to scholars (Ab. R. N. xxix., end). Contrary to the opinion of Jose ha-Gelili, Ise ben Judah held that the commandment "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head" (Lev. xix. 32) is applicable to any old man, and not only restricted to scholars Ḳid. 32b). He valued the respect of parents so highly that, according to him, the personal fulfilment of any precept that can be committed to another must be abandoned, if that is necessary to carry out a father's order (ib.). Of Ise ben Judah's activity in Biblical exegesis evidence is given by his remark that there are five passages in the Bible each of which contains a word that can not be positively connected with either the preceding or the following words. This remark was afterward incorporated in the Masorah, where it is noted that "there are five passages in the Bible, each of whichcontains a word that has no balance" (Mek., Ex. xvii. 9, and parallels). Ise ben Judah is often confounded with Ise ben Judah bar 'Hai.
- Bacher, Ag. Tan. p. 373;
- Zacuto, Yuḥasin, ed. Königsberg, p. 60a;
- Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah, p. 203;
- Mielziner, Introduction to the Talmud, p. 39.