AḤADBOI B. AMMI:
By: S. Mendelsohn
Babylonian amora of the fourth generation (fourth and fifth centuries), a disciple of Rab Ḥisda and Rab Sheshet (Pes. 75a; B. M. 91a; Sanh. 55a; Bek. 39a; Niddah, 37b). While the latter was discussing some intricate point of ritual, Aḥadboi, by facetious remarks, confused his teacher. The teacher felt grieved, and the disciple suddenly lost his power of speech. This was considered as a visitation from heaven for putting his master to shame. Thereupon Aḥadboi's mother, who had been Rab Sheshet's nurse, appealed, on behalf of her afflicted son, to her former foster-child to pardon the indiscretion of his pupil and pray for his recovery. At first Rab Sheshet refused her petition; but after she had pointed to her breasts, which formerly nourished him, and entreated him to be merciful on their account, he complied, and soon afterward Aḥadboi recovered his speech. His colleagues then stigmatized Aḥadboi as "the babe that confounded his mother's ways" (B. B. 9b; see Tos. ad loc. According to Rashi it was Rab Sheshet's own mother who interceded in behalf of Aḥadboi). Aḥadboi reports in R. Eleazar's name an observation calculated to encourage beneficence toward the poor. Quoting the prophet's metaphor (Isa. lix. 17), "He put on righteousness [ẓedaḲah—used in later Hebrew for "charity"] as a breastplate," he says: "That coat is composite in its nature; scale being joined to scale till the armor is completed. Similarly, with regard to ẓedaḲah, farthing is added to farthing; and ultimately there is a large amount to the giver's credit in heaven's register" (B. B. 9b).