Eliezer ben Jacob II
Eliezer ben Jacob II (Hebrew: אליעזר בן יעקב) was a Tanna of the 2nd century, quoted among R. Akiva's younger disciples who survived the fall of Bethar and the subsequent Hadrianic persecutions, including Judah b. 'Illai, R. Meïr, Simon b. Yoḥai, Eliezer b. Jose ha-Gelili (Gen. R. lxi. 3; Cant. R. ii. 5; compare Ber. 63b; Yeb. 62b). With most of them he maintained halakic disputations (Neg. x. 4; Tosef., Yeb. x. 5; ib. B. Ḳ. v. 7; ib. Ker. i. 11; ib. Parah, iii. 10). He was the founder of a school known in the Talmud after his name, "Debe R. Eliezer b. Jacob", which sometimes opposed the "Debe R. Ishmael" (Sanh. 90b; Ḥul. 132a; Yoma 45b; see Ḥanina b. Minyomi).
Like his older namesake, Eliezer ben Jacob I, Eliezer II is quoted in both the Halakah and the Aggadah. From the Pentateuchal injunction (Deut. xxii. 5), "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth to man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment," he maintains that a woman must never handle arms or go to war, and that man must not use ornaments which women usually wear (Sifre, Deut. 226; Nazir 59a). Eliezer taught: "Whoso performs a pious deed gains for himself an advocate [before heaven], and whoso commits a sin creates an accuser against himself. Penitence and pious deeds constitute a shield against heavenly visitations" (Ab. iv. 11).
It is related of him that he once gave up the seat of honor to a poor blind man. The distinction thus conferred on the visitor by so eminent a man induced the people thereafter bounteously to provide for the needy one, who, when he realized the cause of his good fortune, thanked its author. He said, "Thou hast shown kindness unto one who is seen, but cannot see: may He who sees, but cannot be seen, harken to thy prayers and show thee kindness" (Yer. Peah viii. 21b).
Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography
- W. Bacher, Ag. Tan. i. 67-72, ii. 283-291;
- Brüll, Mebo ha-Mishnah, i. 71 et seq.;
- Z. Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah, pp. 73 et seq.;
- Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ed. Warsaw, 1897, ii. 57b et seq.;
- Weiss, Dor, ii. 41 et seq., 166 et seq.;
- Zacuto, Yuḥasin, ed. Filipowski, pp. 31b et seq., 51a.