I have heard that the name Meir (lit:enlightening) is actually a "lashon naki" because he was actually blind. Similar to "sagi nahor". Is there any source for this notion that Rebbi Meir was blind?

1 Answer 1


Per מסכת עירובין דף יג עמוד ב he was not called Rabbi Meir because he was blind. He was known as Rabbi Meir although his real name was Rabbi Nehorai due to the fact that he enlightened the Chachomim in Halacha.

"תנא: לא רבי מאיר שמו אלא רבי נהוראי שמו, ולמה נקרא שמו רבי מאיר - שהוא מאיר עיני חכמים בהלכה"

There is also a Gemara מסכת מגילה דף יח עמוד ב which implies that he read a Megila which he would be unable to do if he was blind.

"מעשה ברבי מאיר שהלך לעבר שנה בעסיא, ולא היה שם מגילה, וכתבה מלבו וקראה".

  • 2
    related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16606/759
    – Double AA
    Jun 6, 2012 at 19:29
  • There are other proofs that he was not blind including the fact that he was a sofer (same gemarah in eiruvin) however I'm curious to see if there is a source that he was, in fact, blind.
    – user1552
    Jun 6, 2012 at 19:30
  • @bcholbeisineeman The quoted gemara in Megillah says he wrote the megillah himself, although I'm not sure blindness is a psul for a sofer.
    – Double AA
    Jun 6, 2012 at 19:32
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    GershonGold: it could still be that he became blind later in life.
    – Double AA
    Jun 6, 2012 at 19:32
  • However then his name would not have been Rabbi Meir earlier for that reason. Jun 7, 2012 at 0:42

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