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16****Rabbi Amram Chassidah (The Pious)

Rabbi Amram Chassidah (The Pious) 

Born: ?.

Died: Babylonia, 300                                                                    

R' Amram was a second generation Amora (from the sages of the Talmud). He lived in Babylonia, in Nehardea. 

Rabbi Amram maintained that women were obligated in the laws of tzitzis, and he attached fringes to the aprons of the women in his household (Sukkot 11a).

He was called Chassidah (pious) because of his piety. Rashi explains that the servants of the Exilarch maltreated him because "he was pious and strict, so he imposed many restrictions on them." He became sick from them, and Yalta, daughter of the Exilarch and wife of R' Nachman, cured him (Gittin 67b).

R' Amram Chassida used to whip people for planting gourds in a vineyard, a violation of blending plants: (Shabbat 139a)

Once some redeemed captive women came to the house of R' Amram Chassidah in Nehardea. When the beauty of one was revealed to R' Amram, he was tempted and he set up a very heavy ladder to ascend to the upper chamber in which the women were lodged. When he had climbed up halfway, he stopped and cried out, "there is a fire in the house of R' Amram!" and he refrained from sinning. The sages said to him, "We have shamed you!" He responded, "Better that you shame Amram in this world than that you should be ashamed of him in the next world." He then banished his temptation from himself, and it left him in a form of a fiery column. He said to it, "You are fire and I am flesh, yet I am better [i.e., more powerful] than you" (Kedushin 81a).   

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Amram Chassidah  protect us all, Amen.

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