AḤA (AḤAI) II.:
By: S. Mendelsohn
A Palestinian amora of the first amoraic generation (third century), surnamed Berabbi, Ha-Gadol or Roba ("the Great"). He systematized Baraitot at the Academy of Ḥiya ha-Gadol, and was teacher of Samuel ha-ZaḲen (Ber. 14a; Yer. Ber. ii. 5a; Yer. Sanh. ii. 20c, iv. 22b, v. 22c; Bek. 24b). The Midrash preserves the following homily of his on Num. xiii. 2: "Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel," the last clause of which appears to be superfluous. Prefacing this homily with a quotation from Isa. xl. 8, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever," he illustrates his subject with the following simile:
"A king once had a friend with whom he made a covenant saying, 'Follow me and I will bestow a gift upon thee.' The friend obeyed the royal summons, but soon after died. Then the king spoke to his friend's son, saying, 'Although thy father is dead, I shall not cancel my promise of a gift to him; come, thou, and receive it.' The king is the Holy One—blessed be He! and the friend is Abraham, as it is said in Isa. xli. 8, 'the seed of Abraham my friend.' To him the Holy One had said, 'Follow me,' as we read in Gen. xii. 1, 'Get thee out of thy country unto a land that I will show thee' And to him the Lord promised a gift; as it is said [Gen. xiii. 17], 'Arise, walk through the land; for I will give it unto thee'; and again [Gen. xiii. 15], 'All the land which thou seest, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed forever.' Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were dead; but the Lord said to Moses, 'Although I promised to give the land to Israel's fathers, who are now dead, I shall not cancel my promise, but fulfil it to their children'; thus we understand the text, 'The word of our God shall stand forever'"