The Gemoro (according to our girsa) says that R. Meir’s original name
was not R. Meir but R. Nechemya . Others say his name was R. Elazar
ben Aroch. He was also called R. Nehorai.
R. Chananel has a different girsa in the Gemoro.
R. Meir’s original name was R. Meyosha.* They called him R.Meir
because he lit up the eyes of the Chachamim in Halacha.
There was another Tana who was called R. Nehorai , his original
name was R. Nechemya or R. Elazar ben Aroch. They called him
R. Nehorai , also for the same reason that he lit up the eyes etc.
The Seder Hadoros writes that R.Chananel ‘s girsa is the correct one
There were two different Tanaim , one R.Meir and the other R. Nehorai.
* The Rambam in Hakdama to his Pirush Hamishnayos enumerates
37 Tanaim who are mentioned in Mishna only once. One of them
is R.Meyosha. (seems to argue with R. Chananel who claims it is R. Meir)
PS. 1) Eloko dMeir Aneini does not refer to the Tana R. Meir.
2) R. Meir Ba’al Haness does not refer to the Tana R. Meir.
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