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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works


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Eleazar ha-Kappar
Hebrew Name(s): אליעזר בן הקפר; ‎אלעזר הקפר
Other Names: Eliezer ha-Kappar
Period: Tannaim — 3rd Century
Location: Palestine
Dates: c. 220

Eleazar (Eliezer) ha-Kappar was a Jewish Tanna sage of the Fourth-Fifth Generation of the Tannaim era. He was the father of Bar Kappara, the First Generation Amora. Eleazar ha-Kappar was a colleague of Judah haNasi. He spent most of his life at Katzrin. The Mishnah cites him where he states, "Jealousy, lust, and honor remove a man from the world" (Pirkei Avot 4:21).
The born are destined to die, the dead to be brought to life, and the living to be judged; It is, therefore, for them to know and to make known, so that it becomes known, that He is God, He the fashioner, He the creator, He the discerner, He the judge, He the witness, He the complainant. And that He is of a certainty to judge, blessed be He, before whom there is no unrighteousness, nor forgetting, nor disrespect of persons, nor taking of bribes, for all is His. Know that all is according to the reckoning and let not your [evil] inclination (yetzer ha-rah) assure you that the grave is a place of refuge for you; for without your will were you fashioned, without your will were you born, without your will do you live, without your will you will die, and without  your will are you, of a certainty, to give an account and reckoning before the King of the kings of kings, blessed be He. (Pirkei Avot 4:22)
"There is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Israel, and no wisdom like the wisdom of Eretz Israel."
"Hakham residing in Eretz Israel, and went out of the land, harmed himself"
"The synagogues and Beth midrashs in Babylonia will in the time to come be planted in Eretz Israel."
"Great is peace, for all blessings (the Eighteen Benedictions) conclude with peace" (Num. Rabbah xi. 7)
An important archaeological finding that was discovered at a Mosque in "Kfar Devora" was a frame-head decorated with two Birds of prey, holding Nosegay in their Beaks. The frame-head bears the inscription:
"זה בית מדרשו שהלרבי אליעזר הקפר" —"This is the Beit Midrash [house of learning] of Rabbi Eliezer ha-Kappar"
 This is the only source from the era of the Tannaim that the term "Beth Midrash" is cited. The frame-head is exhibited at the Golan Archaeological Museum in Katzrin.


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