Rabbi Oshiya Zeira Dman Chevraya

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Rabbi Oshiya Zeira Dman Chevraya (אושעיא זעירא דמן חבריא) was a third generation Babylonian Amora and a descendant of Ali HaKohen. He was a student of Rav Yehuda and Rav Huna and a friend of Rabba. Originally living in Naharda Rabbi Oshiya Zeira Dman Chevraya moved to Eretz Yisroel with his brother Rav Chananya. He was given the title 'Zeira Dman Chevraya' since he was the youngest of the students in the Yeshiva and to differentiate him from a different Rav Oshiya who lived at the same time.


[edit] Failed Smicha

Rabbi Oshiya Zeira and his brother Rav Chananya moved to Eretz Yisroel arriving while Rabbi Yochanan was still alive. Rabbi Yochanan wished to give them Smicha but despite all his efforts it did not actualize. When he became sorrowed by this, Rabbi Oshiya Zeira and Rav Chananya explained to him that it was most probably due to their lineage from the 'House of Ali HaKohen' who was cursed that none of his descendants would live long lives. Since they did not receive Smicha they continued to be labeled as a 'Chaver' and when both brothers are referenced to together they are called 'Chavarahem shel Rabbanan' - 'friends of the Sages'.

[edit] Marriage

In Eretz Yisroel, Rabbi Oshiya Zeira married the daughter of Rabbi Shmuel br Rav Yitzchak. In merit of his father-in-law Rabbi Oshiya Zeira was included in the Kidush Hachodesh ceremonies.

[edit] Amora

In the end Rabbi Oshiya Zeira did receive Smicha and the title 'Rebbe'. In Eretz Yisroel we find him in the presence of the leading sages Rav Ami, Rav Asi and Rabbi Zaira. A few times in the Talmud, Rabbi Oshiya Zeira Dman Chevraya is found quoting Briysos. He spent a lot of time with his brother Rav Chananya and together they visited the ruins of Yerushalim, although they sat by one of its gates and did not enter it. Together the brothers would study the mysteries of Sefer Yitzira.

[edit] Holy Shoemaker

Rabbi Oshiya Zeira and his brother Rav Chananya worked as shoemakers. Their stand was near the harlotry market and all the harlots would come to them to sew shoes for them. The brothers never once looked or even glanced and any of these women. The harlots greatly respect their holiness and would swear by the lives of these holy Rabbis when they had to make a sacred oath.

[edit] Rebuking Nasi

Once during a year of drought, the Nasi declared a day of fasting but no rain came down. Rabbi Oshiya Zeira Dman Chevraya blamed the failure on the Nassi himself, quoting a Briysa that teaches how a bride whose eyes are beautiful, the remainder of her body does not need checking but a bride whose eyes are ugly, her entire body requires checking. Since the Nassi is referred to as the 'eyes of the congregation', this was an open assault on his position and honor. Consequently the servants of the Nassi came and began to torment Rabbi Oshiya Zeira for his harsh rebuke. Upon seeing this, the men of the city came to his defense and vouched for Rabbi Oshiya Zeira that even though he rebukes harshly, all his intentions are purely for the sake of Heaven as they had themselves seen in the past.

[edit] Passing

When Rabbi Oshiya Zeira passed away the idolatry temple of Tiberias collapsed.

[edit] Teachings

There are five measurements that equal a 'Tefach'

  1. Umbilical cord -
  2. Shofar - Minimal size of a Shofer is when it extends a 'Tefach' in each direction when its middle is held with a hand.
  3. Backbone of lulav - Minimal size of a lulav is for its backbone to extend a 'Tefach' above the hadasim.
  4. Sucah walls - A succah needs at least two full walls and a third wall that is at least a 'Tefach' wide in order to be Kosher.
  5. Hyssop - Minimal size of an Ezov used for ritual purifications is a 'Tefach'.

[edit] Kever Rabbi Oshiya Zeira Dman Chevraya

Rabbi Oshiya Zeira Dman Chevraya is buried in the cliffs outside Achbara in the ruins of Chakuv based on the testimony of Rabbi Chaim Vital in the name of the Arizal. He is buried in a cave along with Rabbi Zerika‎ and Rav Sama. In two nearby dug caves are the kivarim of Mar Ukva‎ and Rabbi Levitas ish Yavneh.

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