AZARIAH


AZARIAH
AZARIAH (early fourth century C.E.), Palestinian amora. He is believed to have been the pupil of R. Mana , in whose name he transmitted halakhot (e.g., TJ, Shab. 7:1, 9b). Some scholars have identified him with the amora Ezra, but erroneously, since they flourished in different generations. Azariah is often quoted in the aggadah of the Palestinian Talmud and even more often in midrashic literature where he transmits aggadot in the names of R. Aḥa (Gen. R. 39:6), R. joshua b. levi (Gen. R. 15:7), and Yudan b. Simeon (Gen. R. 39:8). Azariah himself was a prolific and versatile aggadist. He explains the verse "As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons" (Song 2:3): As the apple ripens only in the month of Sivan, so Israel emitted a sweet fragrance in the month of Sivan (i.e., at the giving of the Torah at Sinai); and as there are 50 days between the budding and the ripening of its fruit, so did Israel take 50 days between the Exodus and the giving of the Torah (Song R., to 2:3). In the word אֶשֶׁל (eshel, "tamarisk"), which Abraham planted at Beer-Sheba (Geb. 21:33), Azariah sees an allusion to the three duties of hospitality toward guests, who must be provided with food (אֲכִילָה; akhilah), drink (שְׁתִיָּה; shetiyyah), and escort (לְוָיָה, levayah; Mid. Ps. 110:1, ed. Buber, 465, n. 4). The reading "lodging" (לִינָה; linah) for the last does not appear in ancient texts. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bacher, Pal Amor; Hyman, Toledot, 980. AZARIAH BEN ELIYAH AZARIAH BEN ELIYAH (d. after 1838), one of the leaders of the Karaite community in Chufut-Kale and its chronicler. Very little is known about his life. He signed a letter (1810) from the community of Chufut-Kale to that of Constantinople, concerning financial support for the Karaite community in Jerusalem. He wrote an important chronicle in which he describes the events of the civil war in the Crimea during the Russian invasion (1777–83) and the rule of the last Crimean Khan, Shahin Giray. As an eyewitness Azariah depicts the suffering of the population of the Crimea, including Karaites. He gives unique information about the events in the Crimea in general, and in particular about the Karaite communities of Chufut-Kale and Eupatoria (Yevpatoriya), the relations between Karaites and Rabbanites and other communities of the Crimea, the rates of taxation levied on the Karaites, etc. This work, with many biblical citations incorporated into the text, is written in a very lively and fascinating way. It was published twice in the Russian translation of A. Firkovich\>\> and recently in the Hebrew original text. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. Akhiezer, "Ha-Me'ora'ot she-Hitraḥashu bi-Krim bi-Tekufat Malkhuto shel Shahin Giray Khan: The Historical Chronicle by R. Azaryah ben Eliya the Karaite" (M.A. thesis, Heb. Univ. of Jerusalem, 2000); idem, in: M. Polliack (ed.), Karaite Judaism (2003), 730, 734–35, 738, 748, 751–52; Azarija ben Elija (trans. A. Firkovich), in: Vremennik imperatorskago moskovskago obshchestva istorii i drevnostei rossiiskix, 24 (1854), 101–34; K. zh. V–VI (1911), 52–77. (Golda Akhiezer (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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