Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair

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Rebbe Pinchas Ben Yair
Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair
רבי פנחס בן יאיר
Other Names:
Rabbi Phinehas ben Jair, Rabbi Pinhas Ben Yair
Old Tzfat Cemetery
A forth generation Tana and father-in-law or son-in-law of Rebbe Shimon bar Yochi.

Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair was a 4th generation Tana and was either the father-in-law or the son-in law of Rebbe Shimon bar Yochi. He excelled in his attachment to the Mitzovs of Masser and Pidyon Shevuim and is well know for his teachings of the levels necessary to attain Rouch Hakodesh. Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair is buried at the end of the old cemetery in Tzfas.


[edit] Association With Rashbi

In the Zohar it refers to Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair as the Rashbi's father-in-law while in the Talmud he is referred to as his son-in law. It is possible that there were two Tanaim named Rebbe Pinchas Ben Yair, one a father-in-law and the other a son-in law of the Rashbi.

[edit] The Mice

Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair visited a town whose residents complained that all their crops were being consumed by mice. Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair commanded all the mice to gather in the center of town. They came and began to squeak, he then relayed the message of the mice that the residents were being punished for not taking Tiruma and Masser off their crops. After committing to change their ways, mice stopped eating their crops.

[edit] Donkey of Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair

The donkey of Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair is used a number of times as an example of a righteous animal. It would refuse to eat any oats that did not have the masser first removed from them. One prime example is given how on route to redeem captives Rabbi Pinchas stopped at an inn where they tried feeding his donkey but it refused to eat. They tried crushing the oats and even sifting the filth out of them but nothing worked. Only when masser was finally extracted at the suggestion of Rabbi Pinchas, did the donkey agree to eat.

[edit] Abducted

Once it was stolen but refused to eat from the thieves food since Masser had not been taken off. After three days of fasting the thieves released the donkey, fearful that it would soon die and smell up their hideout. The donkey found its way back to the home of Rebbe Pinchas and began braying by the door. Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair recognized its voice and requested his family to bring it in and feed it since it had not eaten in three days. They gave it barley but would not eat. Rabbi Pinchas pointed out that they too had not taken off masser and although that is not necessary for animal food that was in a halachic state of 'Dimay', what could they do that the poor donkey was stringent on itself.

[edit] Splitting the River

Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair was traveling to redeem a captive. He reached the Giniy River along with another Jew and an Arab merchant. When Rabbi Pinchas commanded the river to split, it refused on the basis that it constantly performs the will of its Creator who told it to flow, while Rabbi Pinchas might or might not be successful in caring out the Mitzva of redeeming the captive. After threatening to decree permanent dryness upon the river, it split for Rabbi Pinchos. He then requested the river split for the Jew who was carrying wheat for the Mitzva of making Matzot, causing it to split a second time. He then requested the it split again for the Arab so it will not look like Jews abandon their traveling companions, the river proceeded to split a third time.

[edit] Brayisa of Rebbe Pinchas

Rabbi Pinchas authored the Brisya of Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair that is referenced a number of times in the Talmudic commentaries.[1]

[edit] Teachings

[edit] Social Upheaval

When the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed Chaverim and free-men of illustrious lineage have been ashamed and their heads have been covered in humiliation, by the power of the lowly. Men of good deeds have become impoverished. At the same time the strong-armed and slanderers have become strong and there are none who seek and beseech. Upon whom, can we rely on? Only on our Father in Heaven.

[edit] Levels Leading to Ruach Hakodesh

  1. Diligence leads to cleanliness
  2. Cleanliness leads to purity
  3. Purity leads to restraint
  4. Restraint leads to holiness
  5. Holiness leads to humility
  6. Humility leads to the fear of sin
  7. Fear of sin leads to piety
  8. Piety leads to Ruach Hakodesh
  9. Ruach Hakodesh leads to the ability of resurrecting the dead
  10. The resurrection of the dead will come about through Eliyahu the prophet

[edit] Kever Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair

Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair is buried near the bottom entrance of the old Tzfat cemetery. His kever was first revealed by the Arizal and for years was marked by a pile of stones. Many visitors to the old cemetery come to the kever Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair, often circling it seven times while reciting Tehilim chapter 29 and the verses of Ana Bekoach.

[edit] Hillulah of Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair

A Hillulah was created for Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair on the 4th of Teves by the local Tzfat-Birya community.

[edit] Directions

Geographic Coordinates

  • Latitude: 32.968027
  • Longitude: 35.486002

[edit] More Photos

[edit] References

  1. ^ Rashi Divray Hayomim 2 4:20
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