JOSE (ISI, ISSI) BEN AḲABYA (AKIBA):
Tanna of the beginning of the third century. The name "Issi" or "Assa" is derived from "Jose," and was borne by many tannaim and amoraim; hence the confusion that prevails in the Talmud concerning the identity of each of them, the same halakic or haggadic saying being attributed sometimes to one and sometimes to another of that name. Thus the prohibition against riding on a mule is reported in the Yerushalmi (Kil. 31c) in the name of Issi ben Aḳabya, while in the Tosefta (Kil. v. 6) it is attributed to Issi ha-Babli, who is undoubtedly identical with Issi ben Judah. Bacher supposes that Issi ben Aḳabya was the brother of Hananiah ben Aḳabya, the interpreter ("meturgeman") of R. Judah. Issi was a diligent student of the Bible, and some of his interpretations have been preserved in the midrashic literature. From I Kings viii. 64 he infers that the expression (Ex. xx. 24) means an altar of copper filled with earth (Mekilta to Ex. xx. 24). In reference to Ex. xxi. 14 he says that though the murderer of a heathen can not be convicted by a Jewish tribunal, he must answer for his crime to God (Mekilta, ad loc. 80b). The permission expressed in Deut. xxiii. 25 is, according to Issi, extended to everybody and not only to the workers in the field; but the permission applies only to the harvest-time (Yer. Ma'as. 50a).
- Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ii. 225;
- Bacher, Ag. Tan. ii. 371.