BEN TEMALYON, name of a demon. According to talmudic legend it accompanied R. Simeon b. Yoḥai on his journey to Rome where he pleaded with the authorities to annul the decree compelling the Jews to have intercourse with their menstruating wives, to desecrate the Sabbath, and not to circumcise their children. The demon entered into the Roman emperor's daughter and when Simeon b. Yoḥai exorcised it, his request was granted (Me'il. 17b). A more detailed account of this miracle is contained in halakhot gedolot (ed. Hildesheimer, 603–4), where, however, the demon is called "Shamdon" or "Ashmedai." The story frequently recurs in medieval folklore, sometimes with an anti-Jewish bias. Some scholars have attempted to identify Ben Temalyon (or Bar Temalyon) with the apostle Bartholomew about whom a similar legend is related in connection with his missionary voyage to India. Ben Temalyon (or Telamyon) is also the name of a person who technically avoided perjury by concealing a hundred dinars which he owed to a plaintiff, in a hollowed cane which he asked the latter to hold, and taking an oath that he had returned him the money (cf. Ned. 25a). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: I. Lévi, in: REJ, 8 (1884), 200–2; 10 (1885), 66–73; Halevy, ibid., 60–65; R. Margoliouth, Malakhei Elyon (Jeru-salem, 1945), p. 222.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • ME'ILAH — (Heb. מְעִילָה; sacrilege ), eighth tractate in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Babylonian Talmud order Kodashim. Me ilah contains six chapters and deals with the unlawful use and enjoyment of hekdesh (i.e., things consecrated to the Temple, especially …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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