Rabbah bar Mar Huna I

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Rabbah bar Mar Huna I

Also Known As: "Rabbah bar bar Hana", "Ya'akob ben Nahman"
Birthdate: (70)
Death: circa 330 (62-78)
Immediate Family:

Son of Khamma ben Nachum II, 5th Exilarch Huna I
Father of Nahman bar "Rabbah" Ya'akob
Brother of Yosef bar Khamma and Kaylil "Yitzhak" ben Nahmani

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About Rabbah bar Mar Huna I

Rabbah bar Nahmani

Rabbah bar Nachmani (Hebrew: רבה בר נחמני) (c. 260-c. 322) was a Talmudist known as an amora, who lived in Babylonia, known throughout the Talmud simply as Rabbah.

Rabbah was born into a priestly family, and studied at both the academies in Sura and Pumbedita. He was a great scholar, renowned for his abilities to argue texts, resolve contradictions, and find applications, which gave him the nickname of "oker harim" or 'uprooter of mountains',[1] as the Talmud says that when he was in argument, he got so worked up that he appeared to pick up mountains and grind them against each other. His specialty was the laws of ritual purity, and he was also an exceptional teacher. He used to start every lecture with a joke or funny anecdote to get his students in a good mood. He would then give his lecture.[2]

Rabbah succeeded Judah ben Ezekiel as head of the academy of Pumbedita and held the post until his death. The academy achieved its height under his leadership and he attracted many new students to the academy. During the kallah months he is said to have attracted as many as 12,000 students.

He is also said to have lived in poverty, but little else is known about his private life. He was maligned by his detractors to the Persian king for leading and teaching bi-annual month-long study gatherings for over twelve thousand people, leading to their being absent at the time of tax collections. The king sent bailiffs to seize him; he fled from city to city and finally into a forest where his body was found in a thicket.

Rabbah was hated by many religiously lax residents of Pumbedita for his outspokenness, but loved by his students. The Talmud records that after his death, he was eulogized for seven days. His nephew was the great scholar Abaye, who was raised by Rabbah as Abaye was an orphan. He was succeeded by his son as well, also called Rabbah. Both Rabbah and his nephew Abaye {280-340} lived 60 years-both being descendants of the House of Eli over whom was the curse to die in the prime of life [3]

References: 1 Abrahams 1911. 2 Talmud, Shabbat 30b. 3 Abbaye - The Talmudic Age, chabad.org

Attribution Abrahams, Israel (1911). "Rabbah bar Naḥmani". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. [edit]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RABBAH B. HUNA:


Babylonian amora of the third generation; died in 322; son of R. Huna, the head of the Academy of Sura (Heilprin, "Seder ha-Dorot," ii. 167b). He was a man of true piety (Shab. 31a, b) and genuine modesty (M. Ḳ. 28a; comp. Giṭ. 43a), and was urged by his father to attend R. Ḥisda's lectures diligently and to profit by his acumen. At first, however, Rabbah held aloof because matters were discussed which did not appeal to his earnest nature (Shab. 82a); but later he became closely associated with R. Ḥisda, and was appointed judge under him (ib. 10a); subsequently the two treated of haggadic subjects together (Pes. 110a, 117a; Soṭah 39a). After the death of R. Ḥisda, Rabbah became the head of the Academy of Sura, though he apparently held this position without the approval of the exilarch. His general relations with the exilarchate were by no means friendly, and he declared himself independent of its authority (Sanh. 5a).

A number of halakic and a few haggadic sentences of Rabbah b. Huna have been preserved: "He who is insolent must be considered a transgressor" (Ta'an. 7b). "When one falls into a rage he loses the respect of God" (Ned. 22b). "He who possesses learning [in the Torah], but is without the fear of God, is like unto a steward to whom have been given the keys of the inner storehouses but not the outer keys; he can not gain access to the storehouses" (Shab. 31a, b).

Bibliography: Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, pp. 167b, 168a, Warsaw, 1882; Weiss, Dor, iii. 195; Bacher, Ag. Bab. Amor. pp. 62-63.


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