Rabbi Yossi Ben Pazi

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Rebbe Yossi Ben Pazi
Abba Chilkia
רבי יוסי בן פזי
Yose, Yosi
A scholar from the school of the Zohar.

Rabbi Yossi Ben Pazi began his Torah studies under Rebbe Abba as a method of attaining wealth. Overtime, purified by the Torah he studied, Rabbi Yossi Ben Pazi regretted this ulterior notion and repented, becoming a scholar in the school of the Zohar. His story is mentioned in the Zohar Parshas Lech Lecha.


[edit] Torah for Wealth

Rabbi Abba went around various Bati Medrashim announcing that whoever wanted wealth and a lengthy life should come study Torah. He was approached by a young man named Yossi, who declared he was willing to study Torah on condition that it would make him wealthy. Rebbe Abba instructed his students to teach him Torah and they would mockingly refer to him as 'Yossi who lusts money'.

[edit] The Golden Goblet

Time passed and Yossi approached Rebbe Abba, demanding to know where the his promised wealth was. Rebbe Abba was near punish him for so brazenly learning Torah not for its sake but overhead a Bas Kol telling him to abstain for one day Yossi would be a great scholar.

The next day a wealth man arrived at Rebbe Abba's Yeshiva. He declared that he wished to study Torah but had no time. He proceeded by pulling a goblet created from refined gold, called 'Paz', stating that he would reward it to a scholar that was willing to study for him, giving him a portion of the merit. Rebbe Abba called Yossi and gave him the golden goblet as a payment for studying Torah in merit of his benefactor. Yossi agreed and continued to study Torah with great diligence until he became a great scholar.

[edit] Regret

As Yossi studied Torah, it purified him. He soon began to regret his ulterior intentions for studying Torah. He regretted having sold a portion of the everlasting merit for physical gold. Once Rebbe Abba saw Rabbi Yossi crying. When he inquired, Rabbi Yossi told him his great remorse and asked Rabbi Abba to take back the goblet, so he could undo his partnership agreement. Rabbi Abba was happy, now knowing that Rabbi Yosi was studying Torah for its sake. He took back the goblet, returning it to its original owner, instructing him to sell it and distribute its proceeds to charity which would earn him the merit he wanted.

[edit] Name

From that point on Rabbi Yossi was called 'Rabbi Yossi ben Pazi' a reference to the golden cup of 'Paz' that brought him to the Torah.

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