Rabbi Reuven ben Itztribuli

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Rabbi Reuven HaIstroboli (רבי ראובן האיצטרובלי) was a fourth generation Tana who lived in Rome. When the Romans forbade the Jews to observe the Shabbot, Brit Mila and the laws of Nidda, Rabbi Reuven dressed as a Roman and got them nullified through his wisdom. When they discovered he was Jewish they reenacted the decrees until they were nullified by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Contents

[edit] Martyr Exchange

When death was decreed upon Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava, Rabbi Reuven HaIstroboli attempted to take his place.

[edit] Nullifying Decrees

Once the Roman government decreed three prohibitions against the Jews that they should not keep the Shabbot, Brit Mila and the laws of Nida. Rebbe Reuven HaItztribuli who was an elder sage living in Rome at the time, went ahead and shaved off hair leaving only a ponytail. He then dressed like a pagan scholar and entered the Roman Senate.

Rabbi Reuven HaIstroboli asked them "one that has an enemy would wish him poor or wealthy?" they respond that 'poor' was the obvious answer. Rabbi Reuvain then pointed out that it was better if the Jews did not work on Shabbot so they earn less money. The Senate agreed and the decree was nullified. He then asked "if one had an enemy would he wish him weak or strong?". When they responded 'weak', he pointed out that it was better if the Jews circumcise themselves as that weakens their bodies. The Senate agreed and the 2nd decree was nullified. Rabbi Reuven then asked "if one had an enemy would he wish him to decrease or multiply?". When they responded 'decrease', he pointed out that it was better if the Jews keep the laws of Nida so they avoid reproducing. The Senate agreed and the 3rd decree was nullified. Later when they realized that he had been Jewish and they had been tricked, they reenacted the decrees. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was then sent from Eretz Yisroel to nullify them.

[edit] Family

Rabbi Reuven HaIstroboli had two sons that were students of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi.

[edit] Teachings

A person is not suspected of a sin unless he actually did it. If he did not commit the entire sin then he had partially transgressed it. If he had not even partially transgressed it then he thought about doing it. If he had not even thought about doing it then he had been happy seeing others commit this sin.

[edit] Kever Rabbi Reuven HaItztribuli

Rabbi Reuven HaItztribuli is buried in the Arab occupied village of Arraba.

 
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