Hananiah ben Akavia

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Hananiah ben Akavia was a rabbi of the second century (fourth generation of tannaim).


Despite his prominence, both parts of his name are uncertain: "Hananiah" and "Hanina" for the former, and "Akabia" and "Akiba" for the latter, appearing promiscuously in connection with one and the same halakhah.[1] However, there is reason to believe that "'Akabia" is his right patronymic, and that he was the son of Akabia ben Mahalalel.[2]

Sometimes Hananiah (or Hanina) is cited without his patronymic.[3] Thus, he is easily confused with Haninah ben Ahi R. Joshua, who is also cited without his patronymic. To avoid such mistakes, one must observe the associates cited in the debate or statement. If these belong to the age of Rabbis Meir, Jose, and Shimon, Hananiah ben Akavia is meant; if they are of a former generation, R. Joshua's nephew is intended.[4]


He was a contemporary of Judah bar Ilai,[5] and probably one of the younger pupils of Gamaliel II.[6] His name rarely appears in connection with aggadot, but he was firmly grounded in halakhah. Rav expresses great admiration for Hananiah's abilities.[7]

Hananiah was fearless in the expression of his opinions, and also opposed those of the leaders of academies, the "nasi" and his deputy.[8] He lived at Tiberias, where he abrogated many restrictions which had hampered the comfort of the people.[9]


  1. ^ Compare Arachin 1:3; Sifra Bechukotai, 12:8; Arachin 6b; Tosefta Parah, 9(8):9; Hagigah 23a; Yebamot 116b
  2. ^ See "R. E. J." 41:40, note 3
  3. ^ Compare, for example, Yerushalmi Eruvin 8 25b and Shabbat 83b
  4. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia, HANANIAH (ḤANINA) B. 'AḲABIA (AKIBA)
  5. ^ Moed Katan 21a
  6. ^ Ketubot 8:1
  7. ^ Shabbat 83b
  8. ^ Tosefta Pesachim 8:7; Shabbat 50a
  9. ^ Eruvin 87b, and parallel passages

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "HANANIAH (ḤANINA) B. 'AḲABIA (AKIBA)". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. It has the following bibliography:

  • Bacher, Ag. Tan. ii. 370;
  • Brüll, Mebo ha-Mishnah, i. 211;
  • Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah, p. 186;
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ii., s.v.