Eleazar of Modin

Eleazar Of Modin a Jewish teacher of the 2d century. He was a relative of Bar Cochab, and not only upheld his messianic pretensions, but also stimulated the religious energy and encouraged the hopes of the defenders of Bethar. Weighed down by years and emaciated by fasts, the aged ascetic was daily to be seen on the ramparts, where, clad in sackcloth and covered with ashes, he would, in the sight of all, implore heavenly aid with tears and by continual fastings. As long as the defenders of Bethar saw Eleazar at his post ithey felt secure under the canopy of his piety, and in the assurance of divine aid. Even the treacherous Samaritans felt the awe of his presence, and were wont to say that Bethar could not be taken "so long as this cock remained to crow in ashes." At last one of them succeeded in rendering Eleazar an object of suspicion to Bar Cochab, who rudely pushed the old man aside with his foot. Eleazar fell to the ground a corpse. His recorded maxim is: "He that profanes things sacred, and contemns the festivals, and annuls the covenant of Abraham our Father, and acts barefacedly against the Torah, even though he be a doer of good works, has no portion in the world to come " (Aboth, 3:17). See Hamburger, Real-Encyclop. 2, page 161 sq.; Bacher, Die Agada der Tanaiten, in Frankel-Gratz's Monatschrift, 1882, p. 529 sq. (B.P.)

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