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ḲAMẒA and BAR ḲAMẒA:

Two persons who, according to a Talmudic legend (Giṭ. 55b-56a), were the cause of the destruction of Jerusalem. A certain man, having prepared a banquet, sent an invitation by his servant to his friend Ḳamẓa. The servant, by a mistake, delivered the invitation to his enemy Bar Ḳamẓa, who came and was expelled by the master of the house. Bar Ḳamẓa sought revenge for the outrage by denouncing the Jews of Jerusalem as having revolted against the Roman emperor, declaring, in support of his allegation, that if the emperor were to send an offering to the Temple, the priests would refuse to accept it. The emperor therefore sent him with a calf which he ordered to be sacrificed on the altar, but Bar Ḳamẓa made a blemish in the calf which caused it to become unfit for the altar. The result was the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans.

The identification of Ḳamẓa and Bar Ḳamẓa with Hanania and Eliezer ben Hanania by Zipser was shown by J. Derenbourg to be improbable. The latter recognizes in it the name of Kομψόç, who, according to Josephus ("Vita," § 9), was one of the notables of Tiberias and a strong adherent of the Romans.

Bibliography:
  • J. Derenbourg, Essai sur l'Histoire et la Géographie de la Palestine, Paris, 1867.
S. S. M. Sel.
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