Rabbi Tarfon

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Rebbe Tarphon
Rabbi Tarfon
רבי טרפון
Tarfon, Tarphone, Tarphon, Tarfone
Other Names:
Father of all Yisroel
Either Meron or Kadita
A third generation Tana and friend of Rebbe Akiva.

Rabbi Tarfon was a leading 3rd generation Tana. He is quoted 49 times in the Mishna, mostly arguing with his student-friend Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Tarfon was a Kohen and had great wealth. He prided himself in his cation for fulfilling the commandment of honoring his mother.


[edit] Teachers

It can be assumed that Rabbi Tarfon studied some Torah under Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai although he also associated with members of Beis Shami. Once he was almost killed by bandits as he lay down to recite the night Shema in accordance to the opinion of Beis Shami, while he was traveling. When he recited this incident to the Sages, he was told that he would have been held responsible for his own death for having ignored the Halachicly accepted opinion of Beis Hillel.

[edit] Tana

Once the Sages decreed a fast day during a time of famine in the city of Lud. When it started raining before midday, Rabbi Tarfon told the masses to go eat, drink and celebrate. They did so and in the evening everyone gathered to publicly recite the full Hallel.

[edit] Kohen

Rabbi Trafon was born before the destruction of the Second Beis Hamikdush and visited it numerous times. One time he heard the voice of the Kohen Gadoel.

[edit] Honoring his Mother

Rabbi Tarfon was very careful to keep the commandment of honoring his mother. Once his mother was strolling in the garden on Shabbos and her sandal ripped. Rabbi Tarfon was unable to bring another shoe due to the transgression of transferring objects on Shabbos from private to public domains. Instead he placed both his hands under her foot and allowed her to walk on them until she reached her bed.

When Rabbi Tarfon became ill and was visited by the Sages, his mother recited this story, asking them to pray for her son who honors her much more then what is necessary. The Sages were unimpressed and said even if he would have done that thousands of times, he would not have reached half the honor the Torah necessitates a person to give his mother.

[edit] Teachings

The day is short, there is a lot of work, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the boss is pressing.

It is not upon you to finish the work, but neither are you free to exempt yourself from it. If you have studied much Torah, you will be greatly rewarded. Your employer is trustworthy to pay you the reward for your labors. Know, the reward of the righteous is in the 'World to Come'.

[edit] Kever Rabbi Tarfon

Early diaries of travelers to Kivrei Tzadikim mostly describe kever Rebbe Tarfon in cave located in Meron on the hill leading up to the Rashbi. In recent years the Kever of Rabbi Tarfon was marked as being in Kadita. Yisrael Meir Gabay and Ohali Tzadikim claim this location is a mistake made based on the testimony of two diaries whose authors never visited the actual kever. Instead they copied out of earlier texts, misunderstanding the location of kever Rabbi Tarfon. Ohali Tzadikim identified a cave in Meron that seems to match the descriptions of the early pilgrims on their path up to the Rashbi. This cave is a double cave, the upper part is accessible and the lower part is sealed up. It is assumed that Rabbi Tarfon is buried in the lower cave. This cave is right near the Ohali Tzadikim version of kever Rabbi Yossi ben Kissma.

[edit] More Photos

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