Jose Ben-chalefta

Jose Ben-Chalefta (surnamed the thinker), a Jewish rabbi, was born at Sepphoris, in Palestine, about the year 80 A.D. Involved in the political schemes of rabbi Akiba (q.v.), he was obliged, in the year 124, to save himself from the Roman sword by fleeing to Asia Minor, from whence, on the death of the emperor Hadrian, in 136, he returned to Sepphoris, and died as the head of a school in that place, in 150. Jose's life is said to have been an edifying example of moral conduct, diligence in acquiring and communicating. knowledge, and an amiable modesty and humility. "I would rather," said he, "be a learner in a school than be founder of the school. I would rather, in the fulfilment of my duty, die a bitter death, than be infamous in the too well beaten way. I would rather overdo my duty than fail in it. I would rather collect for the poor than, by, distributing among them, gain consideration for myself. I would rather be unjustly blamed, than really do what is wrong." Jose is the author of a historical work, which has been preserved, and is possessed of lasting, interest, the Seder Olam (q.v.). See Hamburger, Real-Encyklop. 2:493 sq.; Bacher, Die Agada der Tanaiten (Strasburg, 1884), pages 20, 87, 99, 110, 139, 207, 223, 242, 246, 247, 284, 305, 337, 381,422, 438: Furst, Bibl. Jud. 2:107 sq. (B.P.)

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