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Shmuel bar Abba

Shmuel of Nehardea or Shmuel bar Abba (Hebrew: שמואל or שמואל ירחינאה) was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an Amora of the first generation; son of Abba bar Abba and head of the Yeshiva at Nehardea. He was a teacher of halakha, judge, physician, and astronomer. He was born about 165 CE at Nehardea, in Babylonia and died there in 254 CE. As in the case of many other great men, a number of legendary stories are connected with his birth (comp. Halakhot Gedolot, Giṭṭin, end; Tosefta Ḳiddushin 73a s.v. Mai Ikka). In Talmudic texts, Shmuel is frequently associated with Abba Arikha, with whom he debated on many major issues. He was the teacher of Rabbi Yehudah ben Yeḥezkel. From the little biographical information gleaned from the Talmud, we know that Shmuel was never ordained as a Tanna, that he was very precise with his words (Kiddushin 70a), and that he had a special affinity for astronomy: one of his best known sayings was that "The paths of heaven are as clear to me as the pathways of Nehardea."


הֲבִינֵנוּ | Havinenu, a short form of the Amidah by Mar Shmuel bar Abba, adapted by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from a paraphrasing by Rev. Joseph F. Stern

Contributed on: 08 Aug 2018 by Joseph Frederick Stern | Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Shmuel bar Abba |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his adaptation of Rabbi Joseph F. Stern’s (East London Synagogue, ca. early 20th c.) adaptation of the “Havinenu,” short form of the Amidah in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

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