רבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר :ַ Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, also known as Rabbi Eliezer the Great. A prominent thinker and tanna of the 1st century, during the period of the destruction of the Temple and thereafter. He was the scion of a wealthy family that traced its ancestry back to Moses. Nevertheless, he did not study Torah until he was over twenty years old. At that point, he went to Jerusalem and studied with Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai in miserable conditions. Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai considered Rabbi Eliezer the greatest of his students, to the extent that he said that Rabbi Eliezer was the equivalent of all the Sages. He was also one of the Sages who joined Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai in founding the yeshiva in Yavne after the destruction. Rabbi Eliezer married Imma Shalom, the sister of the Nasi, Rabban Gamliel of Yavne. Rabbi Eliezer’s greatest student was Rabbi Akiva, although other Sages of that generation were his students as well. His son Hyrcanus was also counted among the Sages.
Read more in the Jewish Encyclopedia.« Back to Glossary Index