Chija (or Chaja), Bar-abba

Chija (or Chaja), Bar-Abba a Jewish writer of the 2d century, and a contemporary of Judah the Holy; was descended from a noble Babylonian family. He settled in Palestine, to cooperate with Rabbi Judah in his great work, the redaction of the Mishna, at Tiberias. Judah held him in the highest esteem, speaking of him as "the man of his counsel" (Baba Mezia, fol. 5, col. 1). Of Chija it was said that, "In the law were lost, he would be able to restore it from memory." He was a Biblical as well as a traditional teacher, and labored not only to indoctrinate his students with the dogma of the oral law but to lead them to the fountains of pure inspiration. His indefatigable and all-embracing activity was such as to give occasion to the hyperbolical saying that 'Chija, with his own hand,' took the deer in the chase and skinned: them for parchments, which he would inscribe with the records of the law, and distribute, without money or price, for the instruction of the young." He taught, concerning the book of Job, that its author was no Jew, and that Solomon wrote his books when he was old. See Hamburger, Real- Encyklop. 2:737 sq.; Friedlander, Geschilchtsbilder an der Zeit der Tanaiten, page 102 sq. (B.P.)

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