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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the seventh and eighth generation Amora sage of Babylon, with a similar name, see: Amemar b. Mar Yanuka.

Amemar (Hebrew: אמימר‎) was a Babylonian rabbi, of the fifth and sixth generation of amoraim.

His name is a compound word, formed of the personal name "Ami" and the title "Mar" ("master").[1]


Amemar was one of the leading sages of his generation. He reestablished the college at Nehardea, and restored it to its original reputable position—it having been destroyed over a century before by Odaenathus[2]—and was its rector for more than thirty years (390-422). In addition to that office, he was the president of the court at Nehardea and introduced several ritual changes.[3] Later he moved to Mahuza, where he also served as a religious judge.[4]

His teachers include Rava,[5] Rav Yosef,[6] and Rav Nachman.[7] Later on he learned from students of Rava and Abaye, including Rav Zevid and Rav Papa.

His students include the leading amoraim of the sixth generation, including Rav Ashi (who became Amemar's "Fellow Student") and R. Huna b. Nathan, the Exilarch.

The Talmud frequently records him together with his colleagues, Mar Zutra and Rav Ashi. On royal festivals, the three of them officially represented the Jews at the court of Yazdegerd I.[8] On one of these occasions, Huna bar Nathan was among the assembled dignitaries, and the king, happening to notice that Huna's girdle was disheveled, adjusted it, remarking, "It is written of you,[9] 'You shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,' and you must therefore wear the girdle as priests do." When Amemar heard of this, he said to Huna, "On you has been realized the prophetic promise,[10] 'Kings shall be your attendants'".[11]

His mother's father was Rami bar Hama.[12] Amemar's erudition was continued in his son Mar, who often quoted him to Rav Ashi.[13] A grandson of Amemar's died in his lifetime, and he tore his clothes when he found out. When Amemar's son, the bereaved father, arrived, Amemar tore again. He had torn while sitting, but when he remembered that halacha requires tearing to be done while standing, he stood up and tore a third time.[14] In later generations, some of his descendants served as geonim in the yeshivas of Sura and Pumbedita.

According to the Talmud, he died after Rav Ashi and Amemar's son discussed Amemar's death in an innocent halachic context.[15]


Many halachic discussions between him and Rav Ashi are recorded.[16]

Some of his homiletic observations appear in the Babylonian Talmud.[17]


  • A wise man is preferable to a prophet.[18]


  1. ^ compare Arukh under the word "Abaye"
  2. ^ Bar Naẓar, Ketuvot 51b, Yerushalmi Terumot 8 46b; Grätz, 2d ed., iv., note 28
  3. ^ Rosh Hashana 31b, Sukkah 55a, Bava Batra 31a
  4. ^ Sukkah 55a (end); Brachot 12a; Shevuot 30b, etc.
  5. ^ Kiddushin 10a; Hullin 46b
  6. ^ Ketuvot 100a
  7. ^ Hullin 45b
  8. ^ Ketuvot 61a
  9. ^ Exodus 19:6
  10. ^ Isaiah 49:23
  11. ^ Zevachim 19a
  12. ^ Ketuvot 21b
  13. ^ Pesachim 74b; Sukkah 32b, 41b; Bava Metzia 68a; Bava Batra 174a
  14. ^ Moed Kattan 20b
  15. ^ Bava Metzia 68a
  16. ^ Bava Metzia 68a; Berachot 12a; Beitzah 22a; Ketuvot 21b; Kiddushin 72b; Bava Kamma 79a; Hullin 53b, 58a
  17. ^ Sotah 9a; Bava Batra 45a
  18. ^ Bava Batra 12a

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Amemar". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.

This page was last edited on 1 September 2019, at 15:22
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