Chanina ben Tradyon

Contributed by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis

A Talmudic Sage and martyr, he was one of the ten martyrs of the Roman persecutions. According to RaSHI, Ben Tradyon knew how to use the power of the 42-letter name of God so well he could obtain whatever he desired. Though a pious man, his martyrdom was punishment for abusing his occult knowledge.

Burned to death while wrapped in a Torah scroll, he told his watching disciples that he saw the letters of the text flying off to heaven.

Article copyright © 2004 Geoffrey Dennis.