Rabbi Shimeon ben Azzai is listed as having died twice, once as part of the 4 who enter "pardes" (chagigah 14b) and again as one of the 10 martyrs. Which of these traditions is correct, or is there a way to reconcile both?

Note: the talmud yerushalmi has a variant where ben azzai is not the one who dies, however this is not generally accepted as the proper text. Furthermore there are different lists of the 10 martyrs however ben azzai seems to be on most, if not all of them.

  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9547/…
    – Menachem
    Jun 11, 2012 at 14:33
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    This is not one correct from the another, these two different traditions
    – Haim Evgi
    Jun 11, 2012 at 15:40
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    @HaimEvgi can you explain your comment please, I'm not sure I understand.
    – user1552
    Jun 11, 2012 at 16:09
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    I think this help you , look on the section "מותו של בן עזאי" in the link daf-yomi.com/DYItemDetails.aspx?itemId=1271#
    – Haim Evgi
    Jun 11, 2012 at 16:59
  • @HaimEvgi indeed he does attempt to answer this question but I was lost in some of the language and unconvinced by his argument as it pertains to the heichalot. If you could summarize what he says I think it would be a helpful answer though
    – user1552
    Jun 11, 2012 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


This shiur by Rabbi Ari Kahn resolves this question by saying that Ben Azzai's death in pardes is not to be taken literally but that he was so spiritually enamored by his experience that he did not have children. Chazal list someone who does not have children as equivalent to a dead person (similar to someone who is blind, penniless etc.)

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