Rabbi Shimon ben Laḳish

A second generation Palestinian amora, known as Riesh Laḳish. He was the closest pupil and brother-in-law of R. Yoḥanan. As a youth, Reish Laḳish was a diligent student, but circumstance and poverty forced him to sell himself as a gladiator. Because of his tremendous physical prowess, he survived that ordeal and later resumed his studies, eventually becoming one of the greatest, most revered scholars of his day. He became an ascetic who never laughed and never spoke in public to those whose character was in any way questionable. Hundreds of intellectual discourses between R. Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish appear throughout the Talmud.

Read more in the Jewish Encyclopedia.

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