I know Rav Eliezer was one, but do we know other members of Beth Shammai?

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    Hi chadashasurminhatorah and welcome to Mi Yodeya! Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. You might also want to check out our other questions about Chadash. I look forward to seeing you around!
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 19:56
  • How do you know he was? What is Beth Shammai? What does membership entail? How much were/are dues?
    – Seth J
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


There is no record of the membership of Beis Shammai, or Beis Hillel for that matter. The Babylonian Talmud tells us a bit about Beis Hillel -- e.g. Sukkos 28a and Bava Basra 134a record the number of Hillel's disciples as 80 (see also Yeurshalmi Talmud, Nedarim 39b), and both sources mention two of them by name, Yonasan ben Uzziel and Yochanan ben Zakkai, identified as the greatest and least of Hillel's students, respectively. Rabban Gamliel HaZaken, the Av Beis din in the period prior to the Temple's destruction, and a grandson of Hille, would be presumably in the ranks of Beis Hillel, although he is frequently cited by his own name. No such traditions are recorded of the members of Beis Shammai. We do know three names of the Shammaites -- Baba ben Buṭa (Betzah 20a), Dositai of Kefar Yetma (Mishna Orlah 2:5), and Tzadok (Tosef., Mishna Edyos 2:2); but the Talmud mentions them only because they voted to uphold the views of Beis Hillel in contradiction to their own school.

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    Don't forget R' Dosa's brother, R' Yonasan ben Hyrcanus (Y'rushalmi Y'vamos 1:6, יונתן אחי הוה בכור שטן ומתלמידי בית שמאי - the version in the Bavli 16a states that he was a student of Shammai). Also R' Yochanan ben HaChoranis (Tosefta Eiduyos 2:2, שאף על פי שהוא מתלמידי בית שמאי לא היה נוהג אלא כדברי בית הילל). Also, as mentioned by the OP, R' Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (Y'rushalmi Nazir 6:11, ורבי אליעזר שמותי הוא דתני נזיר ומירט בית שמאי אומרים צריך להעביר תער על ראשו... כן היא מתניתא יטהר ויביא שאר קרבנו; Rashi on Shabbos 130b s.v. שמותי הוא). Also יועזר איש הבירה (Mishna Orlah 2:12).
    – Fred
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 0:27
  • What mean יועזר איש הבירה in your last sentence ?
    – far22
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 13:22
  • @far22 The rabbi's name was Yo'ezer man of (the) Bira - he was a disciple of Beis Shammai. There are different interpretations regarding what is meant by "(the) Bira". To quote Rabbi Kehati's commentary on Orlah (my translation): "Some explain that 'Bira' is the name of a place near Jerusalem (M'leches Sh'lomo). And some explain 'man of the Bira' means the man who was in charge of the Bira that was on the Temple Mount, as R' Yochanan said (Yoma 2a), 'There was a place on the Temple Mount called "Bira"' (some think that this refers to a tower that was on the Temple Mount)...
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 22:51
  • @far22 "...However, Reish Lakish maintained that the entire Temple Mount was called 'Bira', as the verse states (I Chronicles 29:19), 'And to Solomon my son, give a perfect heart to guard Your commandments... and to build the Bira that I have prepared.' According to this, one may explain as follows: Yo'ezer man of the Bira was in charge of the Temple (see also Nehemiah 2:8, 7:2; P'sachim 3:8)."
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 22:52

Bava Ben Buta was a student of Beis Shammai, however he accepted the ruling of Beis Hillel

והיה שם זקן אחד מתלמידי שמאי הזקן ובבא בן בוטא שמו

(Beitzah 20a)

  • Thanks! What do you mean exactly by "he accepted the ruling of beis hillel"? When did he accept it ? Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 20:23
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    @chadashasurminhatorah It is the next line of the gemara I quoted - he was a student of Shammai, but he "knew" the halacha followed beis Hillel, and acted accordingly (in a dispute about bringing sacrifices on Yom Tov). Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 20:25

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