Brachot 53 – More nicknames

And so we finish the penultimate chapter of Masechet Brachot! Just 11 days to go until we finish the Masechet. Please Koren, ensure that Volume 1 of Shabbat arrives in time.

This blog has now covered a couple of interesting nicknames used in the first part of daf yomi and today is no different. 53b of Brachot states:

….דברי רבי זילאי; רבי זיואי אומר

רבי זוהמאי

the statement of Rabbi Zila. Rabbi Zivai says…..Rabbi Zuhamai:

The Koren has an interesting note:

“The strange names of these sages, along with the fact that they do not appear in any other sources, leads one to conjecture that Zivai, Zilai and Zuhamai are nicknames rather than the actual names of these individuals. It seems that certain Sages who only stated a single well-known halakha came to be known by that halakha. The halakha concerning disqualification due to filth, zohama, led to its author being called Rav Zuhamai. Apparently, that is the case with regard to Zilai and Ziva as well (Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Hayyot)”

I have raised the question before – surely these are not names that these Rabbis would want to be known by. Perhaps it is simply part of the mechanism by which the redactors of the Talmud wanted to make it is easier for us to remember obscure names by relating them to the halakhot in question?


About bookabazza

I am an Osteopath and University Lecturer who is trying to keep up with the 7 year daf yomi cycle. I thought I would try and share a few small thought on the daf each week.
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