The Unknown Amora

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A talmid chochom came to Rav Chaim Kanievsky with a manuscript of a sefer that exhaustively traces the generations of the Amoroim, Sevoroim and Geonim according to the various opinions of the Rishonim. After paging through the sefer for a few moments, Rav Chaim asked the author, “Did you mention Rav Amorai here?”

“I never heard of such an Amora,” the author replied.

No one else in the room had heard of him either.

Rav Chaim proceeded to explain.

“The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah mentions the name Amorai, but that’s not whom I was referring to,” he said. “Over there, the Gemara is referring to someone who swims to the depths [of the Gemara, as amora means ‘diver’]… I am referring to someone who was called Amorai.”

Rav Chaim then asked someone to bring him the sefer Seder Tannoim Ve’amoroim, and showed where he had personally added Rav Amorai’s name to the list of names there beginning with alef, noting that the name appears in the Medrash Sefer Habohir.

“Now you have something more to write about,” Rav Chaim said as he warmly wished the author success in his project.

David Steger – Israel



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