Considering that the traditional sources say that Dosa ben Harkinas was a contemporary of Shimon HaTzadik, continuing to survive after the destruction of the Second Temple, what do the rabbis say regarding his age at the time of his passing?

  • 1
    What traditional sources are you referencing?
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


Not so clear. The Rambam in the introduction to the Mishna and others list him as in the first generation of Tanoim as a student (not contemporary) of Shimon Hatzadik. Which would mean that IF (see below) he is the same Dosa Ben Horkunis who was alive in the times of Rav Akiva after the Beis Hamakdush was destroyed then he lived for centuries. This answer is not negating that possibility.

However, the Meiri (introduction to Pirkey Avos) and others argue on the Rambam and say that although he had traditions and knowledge about things said during the times of Shimon Hatzadik (the fact that he had them is given as the Rambam's source he lived then) he personally still lived much later on.

The Gemora Gittin 81A says that Beis Shammai was doros harishonim (the earlier generation of tannaim) and R. Dosa ben Hyrkanus was doros hacharonim (later generation of tannaim). Had he been a talmid of Shimon Hatzadik then he would have predated Beis Shammai. Which is why I'm suggesting the possibility that even according to the Rambam and those who list him in the first generation of tannaim there were two different tannaim of that name.

The strongest proof brought that he lived in the same time as Shimon Hatzadik and then for many subsequent generations is because he said Rav Elazar ben Azariah looks like his ancestor Shimon Ha-Tzadik. But similar to what the Meiri says it could be he (1)either saw a drawing of Shimon Hatzadik or (2)Shimon Hatzadik had very distinct features that were shared with Rav Elazar ben Azariah or (3)Shimon Hatzadik had other descendants who looked like him and this was known to be passed on through the generations

  • Where did he say that Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah looked like Shimon Hatzaddik?
    – Harel13
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 8:13
  • I didn't see it inside but saw it quoted as being a Yerushalmi end of fist perek of Yevomos
    – Schmerel
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 12:17

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