AḤA B. ADDA:
By: S. Mendelsohn
An amora of the fourth century; born and educated in Palestine. He emigrated to Babylonia, where he became a disciple of Rab Judah ben Ezekiel and of Rab Hamnuna II. He frequently reported decisions of his Palestinian teachers. He survived all his associates of the third amoraic generation. As he grew old he became weak and his hands trembled; and it is related that, to imitate his signature in a judicial document, a forger made his own hand tremble like that of the aged scholar (ḳid. 30a; Sanh. 90b; Suk. 21b, 26a; B. B. 167a). That Aḥa loved virtue for virtue's sake may be inferred from the construction he put on Mal. iii. 18. He says: "'Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked.' This means between the believer and the unbeliever. 'Between him that serveth God for God's sake and him that serveth Him not for His sake;' that is, man should not use his knowledge of the Law as an ax to cut with or as a crown wherewith to crown himself" (Midr. Teh. to Ps. xxxi., ed. Buber; compare Ab. iv. 5).