Eliyahu according to Pirkey d’Rabi Eliezer

The 1st installment in a series examining whether Pinechas (aka Pinchas or Phineas) of the Torah is same personage as Eliyahu ha-Navi (Elijah the Prophet) of the book of Kings and later Jewish traditions. Pirkey d’Rabi Eliezer, ch. 47: Rabbi Yehudah says: …Through the counsel of Bilam (Balaam) that he advised Midyan (Midian), 24,000 Israelites […]

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Ahab and Elijah a la Talmud Yerushalmi

See earlier posts in this series for some background. Note how in the following source, Chiel is depicted as having a pious streak, or at least perhaps having some thoughts of repentance following his tragedy. Achav, however, quickly squelches Chiel’s attempted positive spiritual thrust. Yerushalmi Sandhedrin 10:2: It is written: ‘Eliyahu (Elijah) the Tishbite, of […]

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Of Prophets, Kings and… Chicken?

In this earlier post, we discussed the meeting between the prophet Eliyahu and King Achav that led to Eliyahu’s decree that the rains be withheld. See my question on this incident there. I subsequently found another midrashic source discussing this same incident with slight variation. Tana d’Vey Eliyahu Zuta 8: Achav (Ahab), King of Israel, […]

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Sickness Is Next to Godliness?

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 101:4: Some say that [one one must pray only in the Holy Tongue (Hebrew)] when one is asking for one’s needs, such as praying for a sick person… Mishnhah Berurah, ad loc: That is, when [the one praying] is not in the presence of the sick person, but in the presence of the […]

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Tefilah (prayer) and Mal’achim (angels)

See this post and this post for more on this topic. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 101:4: When praying alone (i.e. not with a quorum of ten men), one should only pray in the Holy Tongue (i.e. Hebrew)… There are those that opine that even an one praying alone, when asking [G-d] for one’s needs, may ask […]

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Of Prophets, Anger, and Humor

The actions by Eliyahu noted in the previous post precipitated an interesting response from a sage of the Mishnaic period, many centuries later. It is well known that Eliyahu was granted immortality, rising to heaven alive, and according to Jewish tradition, continues to visit the Jewish people secretly throughout the generations, and will ultimately reveal […]

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Whence Cometh Elijah, Best You Hide Ya

In Melachim I (I Kings), chapter 16, we read of the evils of Israel’s wicked King Achav (Ahab). Among other ills, Achav worshipped the idol Baal, built a temple to the same, as well as promulgating Asherah worship. He married the wicked Izevel (Jezebel), a Phoenician princess, who had the true prophets of Israel hunted […]

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