I’m privileged to bear the name of the holy Mishnaic sage (Tanna, in Aramaic) Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov. His gravesite is 2 kilometers east of the Hananya crossroads, about 10 kilometers south of Meron.
Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov was nicknamed kav veNaki (Gemara tractate Eruvin 62b, Yevamot 49b, and other places), which literally means “grain with no chaff”. The connotation is that he didn’t say much, but almost everything he did say was codified into law. One of Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov’s most well known sayings appears in the Mishna, tractate Avot, chapter 4, mishna 11. He says, “One who performs a mitzva earns a defense counsel, and one who transgresses earns a prosecutor; teshuva and good deeds are a shield against calamity.”
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