Was watching a shiur and the rabbi mentioned a Gemara that states the 7 most handsome people alive and Rabbi Yishmael Kohen Gadol was one of them. Anyone know where I can find this Gemara?

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    The beauty of R' Yishma'eil ben Elisha' Kohein Gadol and his children is discussed in Gittin 58a.
    – Fred
    Dec 15, 2022 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


I haven't been able to find the full list in any gemara, but was able to find the list in one of the nuschaos of the midrash on the עשרה הרוגי מלכות in אוצר מדרשים, עשרה הרוגי מלכות, עשרה הרוגי מלכות נוסחא ב׳ ו

Here is the list:

  1. אדם הראשון
  2. יעקב
  3. יוסף
  4. שאול
  5. אבשלום
  6. ר׳ אבהו
  7. ר׳ ישמעאל בן אלישע כ״ג

Three from the list: Adam, Yaakov and Rabbi Abahu are actually described together as being of great beauty in בבא מציעא פד:א and in בבא בתרא נח:א.

Rav Kahana's beauty also appears in the discussion in both gemaros.

In בבא בתרא, the beauty of Chava and Sarah and the amora Rav are added to the mix.

The beauty of Rabbi Yochanan is discussed in בבא מציעא and the reason that he didn't make the list that included the other rabbis was that he didn't have a beard.

The beauty of Yaakov Avinu as being akin to that of Adam HaRishon is discussed many times in the Zohar and related sifrei Kabbala.

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    Interesting, thanks for looking! I’m wondering why Rabbi Yochanan isn’t on this list because isn’t he always touted as such a beautiful guy? Dec 15, 2022 at 15:32
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    @CuriousYid he was the last of the beautiful people, but not in the top 7 apparently!
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 15, 2022 at 15:33
  • 1
    @CuriousYid I just edited and expanded the answer. Part of what I added addresses your question re: Rabbi Yochanan.
    – EraserX
    Dec 15, 2022 at 17:21

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