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Joshua ben Perachya (Hebrew: יהושע בן פרחיה) was Nasi of the Sanhedrin in the latter half of the second century BCE. He and his colleague Nittai of Arbela were the second of the five pairs (Zugot) of scholars who received and transmitted the tradition (Avot i.6; Haggigah 16a). At the time of the persecution of the Pharisees by John Hyrcanus (r. 134-104 BCE), Joshua was deposed—a disgrace to which his words in Men. 109b apparently allude. (According to the entry on Yeshu, it was Alexander Jannaeus, not John Hyrcanus whose persecution he fled: In Sanhedrin 107b and Sotah 47a a Yeshu is mentioned as a student of Joshua ben Perachiah who was sent away for judging a woman by her physical appearance. This happened during their period of refuge in Egypt during the persecutions of Pharisees 88-76 BCE ordered by Alexander Jannĉus.) He fled to Alexandria, Egypt; but he was recalled to Jerusalem when the persecutions ceased and the Pharisees again triumphed over the Sadducees (Sotah 47a). The same passage refers to a pupil of Joshua's who according to some scholars may have been Jesus (comp. Krauss, "Das Leben Jesu," p. 182, Berlin, 1902). Only a single halakhah of Joshua's has been preserved (Tosef., Maksh. iii. 4), besides the following ethical maxim which shows his gentle judgment of his fellow men and his eagerness to spread knowledge among the people: "Get thee a teacher; win thee a friend; and in judging incline toward the side of innocence" (Avot i. 6).

 

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