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JOSE HA-KOHEN ("the Pious"):

Tanna of the second generation; flourished in the first and second centuries; pupil of Johanan ben Zakkai. It is said of him that he never allowed any writing of his to remain in the hands of a heathen, lest he should carry it on Sabbath (Tosef., Shab. xvii. 13; Shab. 19a). Jose valued friendship above all worldly goods. "The good a man should cleave to is a good friend, and the evil a man should shun is an evil neighbor" (Ab. ii. 12). His maxim was: "Let the property of thy friend be precious unto thee as thine own; set thyself to learn the Torah, for it is not an heirloom unto thee, and let all thy actions be taken in the name of Heaven" (ib). Jose's name is associated in the Halakah with that of Zechariah ha-Ḳaẓẓab (Ket. 27a). The Haggadah has preserved two sayings of Jose. One is connected with the death of the son of Johanan ben Zakkai. Jose endeavored to console the father by reminding him that the high priest Aaron lost two sons in one day and yet he continued his services in the Tabernacle without interruption (Ab. R. N. xiv.). The otherwas in answer to a question addressed by a female proselyte to the patriarch concerning the seeming contradiction between Deut. x. 17 and Num. vi. 26. Illustrating his answer by a parable, Jose said that Deut. x. 17 refers to offenses against man that can not be forgiven, while Num. vi. 26 refers to offenses against God that are always forgiven (R. H. 17b). Jose is said to have been devoted to mystical studies (Yer. Ḥag. ii.).

Bibliography:
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ii. 211;
  • Weiss, Dor, i. 192, ii. 73;
  • Bacher, Ag. Tan. i. 67 et seq.
S. S. I. Br.
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