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10 Facts on Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel

Published on Thursday October 14th, 2021

1.Rav Yonatan ben Uziel was a first-generation Tana, the greatest disciple of Hillel the elder and author of the translation on Neviim, Prophets (Targum Yonatan.)

2.His greatness is discussed in the treatise of Sukkah: "Our masters taught us: Hillel the elder had eighty students, thirty of them were so worthy that the Divine Presence rested on them like Moshe Rabbeinu, another thirty were worthy of stopping the sun in its course as did Yehoshua Bin Nun, and twenty men were of medium level. The most illustrious of them all was Yonatan ben Uziel, and the least, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai.

3.The Midrash continues by discussing Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai "who has not ceased to study the verses of the Torah and the Mishna, the Talmud, the Halachot and the Agadot (stories of the Talmud), the finesse of the written Torah and the teachings of the Sages, reasoning by deduction and semantic bridges, the science of solar and lunar cycles, the exchanges of the angels, those of the evil angels, and those of the good angels, the parables about foxes, a great thing and a simple thing. A great thing; the 'maaseh Merkava,' the 'celestial chariot,' and a simple thing; 'the findings of Abaye and Rava.' It also says; if this was the level of the weakest, we can deduce from here the level of the most illustrious.

4.On the greatness of the sanctity of the Tana Yonasan ben Uziel, the treatise Sukkah says: "At the moment when Yonasan ben Uziel devotes himself to the study of the Torah, any bird flying above him is immediately burned."

5.The Tana Yonatan ben Uziel is the author of a translation on the Torah and on the Prophets. He wrote his translation on the last prophets, including Chagai, Zecharia and Malachi. His comment is unique in that, unlike Onkelos, it goes far beyond the original meaning of the verses. He explains the verses as allusions to events and other periods.

6.In the treatise of Megillah it is written, "When he wrote his translation, the land of Eretz Israel; a perimeter of 400 Parssa out of 400, trembled and a heavenly voice said," Who has revealed My secrets to mankind? " Yonatan arose immediately and proclaimed, "It is I who have revealed your secrets, you know that I did not do it for my honour, nor for the honour of my father's house, but for Your honour, to avoid all quarrels among the people. "

7.It is also brought down in Megillah that: "When he asked to translate the Hagiography, a heavenly voice came out and said,"That is enough! " because in the Hagiography there are allusions to the coming of Mashiach. "

8.A translation of the Torah is attributed to Yonatan ben Uziel. Rabbi Menachem Rekanati reports that it was made by Yonatan ben Uziel.

9.His tomb, located in Amuka, is considered one of the most important tombs of a Tzaddik in the Galilee.  It is among the most visited, and every year, about half a million people go to pray at his tomb.

10. According to tradition, the Tana Yonatan ben Uziel never married. According to another opinion, he was married, but without children. We have a tradition that praying at his grave opens the Gates of Heaven. According to another opinion, going around his tomb seven times is a Segula for finding a good spouse and having children.

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