The identity of Oshaiah cannot be established with certainty; it is very likely, however, that he lived in the third century C.E.3 Communal fasts, along with prayers and related rituals, were regularly held in times of drought, in order to urge the heavens to give rain.4 Oshaiah makes a biting remark on the failed efforts of the Jewish patriarch's people (or of the patriarch, the Nasi, himself) to bring rain, effectively saying that the fish rots from the head. In case the "matchmaker's rule" is an authentic part of the text, it is clear that it is meant as a comment on a biblical text rather than being derived from it.\n28 Some literary features are shared by this anecdote and the story in b. Ta'an.: (1) a central role assigned to eyes in describing a woman; (2) the use of the adjective ... (in some textual witnesses of the b. Ta'an. text) in describing women's eyes; (3) the importance of ambiguous expressions in the narrative.