Jewish Biography
 

Related Links

Biographies
Jewish Memoirs
List of Jews
List of Rabbis
Actors & Actresses
American authors
Jewish Chefs
Chess Players
Computer Scientists
Economists
Film Directors
Jewish Americans
Jewish Comedians
Jewish CEOs
Jewish Comics
Jewish Dancers
Jewish Head States
Jewish Magicians
Jewish Models
Jewish Producers
Jewish Poker Players
Jewish Philosopher
Jewish Theater
Jewish TV
Jewish Radio
Mathematicians
Motion Pictures
Music businessmen
Jewish Poets
Jewish Cartoonist
Jewish Women
Playwrights
Representatives
Senators
Singers
Songwriters
Wrestlers
Featured Jews
Harry Houdini
Hogan's Heroes
Marx Brothers
Seinfeld
The Three Stooges

-- Jewish Links --

Jewish Books
Jewish Links
Jewish Catalogs
Jewish Posters
Jewish Stories
Jewish Videos
Judaica
Judaism
Kosher Wines
Jewish Biography --> Biographies --> List of Jews --> List of Rabbis
Sponsored listings for Jewish Recipes and Kosher Cooking
Sh'maya (Hebrew: שמעיה, or Shemaiah, Samaias or Sameas) was a rabbinic sage in the early pre-Mishnaic era who lived at the same time as Avtalyon. They are known as one of the zuggot ("couples"): Sh'maya and Avtalyon. Both Sh'maya and Avtalyon were converts to Judaism.

He was a leader of the Pharisees in the first century BC; president of the Sanhedrin before and during the reign of Herod the Great. He and his colleague Abtalion are termed in Pesahim, 66a the gedole ha-dor (the great men of the age), and darshanim (exegetes) (ibidem, 70a). Grätz has shown (Geschichte iii. 171) that neither Shemaiah nor Abtalion was of Gentile descent, although both were Alexandrians. Of the political life of Shemaiah only one incident is reported. When Herod on his own responsibility had put to death the leader of the national party in Galilee, Hyrcanus II permitted the Sanhedrin to cite him before the tribunal. Herod appeared, but in royal purple robes, whereupon the members of the Sanhedrin lost courage. Only Shemaiah was brave enough to say: "He who is summoned here on a capital charge appears like one who would order us to execution straightway if we should pronounce him guilty. Yet I can blame him less than you and the king, since ye permit such a travesty of justice. Know then that he before whom ye now tremble will some day deliver you to the executioner." This tradition is found twice, in Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews xiv. 9, sect. 4, and Sanhedrin, 19, where the name is altered (compare Grätz, Geschichte iii. 711).

Shemaiah said: "Love work. Hate authority. Don't get friendly with the government." (Avoth 1:10).

Of the private life of Shemaiah almost nothing is known, except that he was a pupil of Judah ben Tabbai. According to Avoth i. 10, his favorite maxim was, "Love handicraft, shun power, and make for thyself no friends of worldly might." This apothegm, like those of his colleague Abtalion, is significant of the misery of the entire period.

Aharon's Jewish Books and Judaica
600 South Holly Street Suite 103
Denver, Colorado 80246
303-322-7345
800-830-8660

Map to Aharon's Jewish Books and Judaica

Store Hours

Monday through Thursday 9 AM to 6 PM
Friday 9 AM to 2 PM
Sunday 9 AM to 4 PM

 

Jewish Biography | About Jewish Biography | Search

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the