Eliezer ben Jacob I

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Eliezer ben Jacob I (Hebrew: אליעזר בן יעקב) was a Tanna of the 1st century; contemporary of Eleazar Chisma and Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, and senior to Judah ben Ilai.[1]

Of his personal history nothing is known, except that he had seen the Temple at Jerusalem and was familiar with the specific purposes of its many apartments, a subject on which he was considered an authority.[2] Some of the details, however, he eventually forgot, and was reminded of them by Abba Saul ben Batnit.[3]

Simon ben Azzai, Rabbi Akiva's contemporary, relates that he had discovered a genealogical roll wherein was stated, "The Mishnah of R. Eliezer ben Jacob is only a kab [small in proportion], but clean [of all deficiencies]";[4][5] as a result, subsequent generations generally adopted Eliezer's views as law.[6]

In the aggadah, too, he is mentioned. According to him, Deuteronomy 11:13 ("To serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul") is an admonition to the priests that, when officiating, they shall entertain no thought foreign to their duty.[7]

Eliezer ben Jacob bequeathed to Israel many agrarian laws, such as the laws concerning the bringing of the Bikkurim to Jerusalem and who is eligible to recite the Avowal,[8] as well as the laws concerning Kil'ayim grown in a vineyard.[9]

He is buried near the old Kefar Hanaiah, in Galilee.[10]


  1. ^ Pesachim 32a, 39b; Yalkut Shimoni Leviticus 638
  2. ^ Yoma 16b
  3. ^ Middot 2:5, 5:4
  4. ^ Yebamot 49b
  5. ^ Avoth deRabbe Nathan 18:3, ed. Shmuel Yerushalmi, Machon Masoreth: Jerusalem 1976
  6. ^ Yebamot 60a; Bechorot 23b
  7. ^ Sifre Deuteronomy 41
  8. ^ Mishnah Bikkurim 1:5
  9. ^ Mishnah Kil'ayim 5:3; 6:2
  10. ^ Levi-Nahum, Yehuda (ed.), Sefer ṣohar le-ḥasifat ginzei teiman (ספר צהר לחשיפת גנזי תימן), Tel-Aviv 1986, s.v. chapter: Tombs of the forefathers and righteous [3], p. 252 (Hebrew)

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSolomon Schechter; S. Mendelsohn (1901–1906). "ELIEZER (LIEZER-ELEAZAR) B. JACOB". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.