SHAMMAI, a Jewish rabbi, sometimes called " the elder," was the contemporary of HILLEL (q.v.) and the head of a rival school. The pair are twelfth in order in the Pirke Aboth, where we are informed that Sham mai enjoined his disciples to make a special business of the study of the law, to promise little and perform much, and to receive every one in a friendly spirit. Of his personal history nothing is known. The tendency of Shammai and his school is represented as having been towards a more scrupulously and burdensomely literal construction of the law than was thought necessary by Hillel ; but their differences so far as known turned upon very trifling minutiae. One example of his, rigour will suffice. It is related of him in the Mishnah that a grandson having been born to him during the feast of tabernacles he caused the ceiling to be removed and the bed to be canopied with branches, in order that the child also might observe the solemnity according to the law.