Was there an actual person Rabi Tanchuma attributed to writing the medrash that goes by this name? Do know anything about him?

  • 3
    – user7023
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 3:25
  • This question does not show any research effort.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 19:55
  • @Double ^^^^^^^ continuing our conversation from the other day. Please let me know that you are aware of this as a Mod.
    – user6591
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


See this other Wikipedia entry that states:

Tanhuma bar Abba (Hebrew: תנחומא בר אבא) was a Jewish amora of the 5th generation, one of the foremost haggadists of his time. He was a pupil of Ḥuna bar Abin (Num. R. iii.; Gen. R. xli.), from whom he transmits halakic (Yer. Ḥal. 57d; Shab. 10c) as well as haggadic sayings (Yer. Pe'ah 15b; Shab. 11d; Ab. Zarah 43a). He received instruction also from Judah ben Shalom (Midr. Teh. to Ps. cxix. 2) and R. Phinehas (Yer. Sheḳ. 49d). According to W. Bacher, he resided in Nave, a town in Peræa (comp. A. Neubauer, G. T. p. 23).

Midrash Tanhuma was named after him because he was the first person named in that Midrash, but, the Midrash itself was written during the course of many years. This is common, like Avot D'Rav Nattan which was named after him for a similar reason.

  • These wiki entries don't answer why we should assume the person mentioned in the medrash is the same person in the gemara. Or why to assume the entire work wasn't written entirely by him. Also the other entry from user7032 is based of information from encyclopedia judaica. I have have nothing against scholarly secular research as long as it has moral integrity. I don't concider information from an overtly antireligious work especially believable.
    – user6591
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 4:21
  • @user6591 - I generally take wikipedia entries loosely. However, part of the question asks more generally about Rabbi Tanhuma, and it makes reference to the Gemarrah that he was an Aggadist, which does collude with what the Gemarrah reference mentions. Granted, it doesn't completely or thoroughly answer the question, but it does cover what we know about Rabbi Tanhuma, in general - again a part of the OPs question.
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 23:51

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