“Rabbi Papa ben Samuel introduced a measure of three kefiza. They said unto him: Did not Samuel say that measures must not be increased by more than a sixth?-- He said unto them: I have introduced a new measure. He sent it to Pumbeditha, but they did not adopt it. He sent it to Papunia and they adopted it and named it Roz-Papa.”¹
R. Papa's defense against the charge that he has violated Samuel's rule forbidding increasing a measure by more than a sixth is that he is not increasing a measure, but introducing a new one.
Some commentators think this measure = 3 log; others, 9 log.
Commentators around 1900 thought “roz-papa” meant “Papa's secret.” Later commentators have suggested that “roz” comes from the Farsi for “measure,” so the phrase would simply mean “Papa's measure."
It may be relevant that Rabbi Papa was a brewer.
1. Israel W. Slotkin, translator.
Baba Bathra, 90b.
in Isidore Epstein, editor.
The Babylonian Talmud. Seder Nezikin, volume 2.
London: The Soncino Press, 1935 (reprint ed. 1978).
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Last revised: 24 January 2003.