Abba Saul ben Batnit

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For the fourth generation Tanna sage with a similar name, see Abba Saul.
Rabbinical Eras

Abba Saul ben Batnit (Hebrew: אבא שאול בן בטנית‎, "Abba Shaul ben Batnit") was a Tanna of the latter period of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, approximately two generations before the temple's destruction. He used to take Responsa questions from the Jewish public and answer on matters of the Halakha, while working as grocer. In his latter job he became known for being strict on not taking spoils and preserving a fellowman's finances, and for that reason, among others, he donated a significant amount of oil to the Jewish public, in order to revoke any suspicions about public exploitation.[1][2][3][4]

In the Babylonian Talmud, in Tractate Pesachim, Abba Jose Ben Hanin cites, on Abba Saul's behalf, a saying of criticism on the families of the Kohen Gadols (Great or High priests of the holy temple), who were identified with the Sadducees and their familiars, and who were in charge at this latter period of the Second Temple of Jerusalem:

"Woe is me because of the house of Boethus, woe is me because of their staves;

Woe is me because of the house of Hanin, woe is me because of their whisperings;

Woe is me because of the house of Kathros, woe is me because of their pens;

Woe is me because of the house of Ishmael the son of Phabi, woe is me because of their fists;

For they are High Priests, and their sons are [Temple] treasurers,

and their sons-in-law are trustees, and their servants beat the people with staves".