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Talmudic Era: Tannaim, Amoraim, and Geonim

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  • Eleazer Ben Shimon (deceased)
    Eleazer ben Shimon Jewish Encyclopedia
  • Shimon Bar Yochai, Rashbi - (80 - 160)
    Simeon bar Yochai ,  also known by his acronym Rashbi, was a famous 1st-century Tannaic (Mishnaic, ed.) sage in ancient Israel, active after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. He was...
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    Judah bar Ilai Judah bar Ilai, also known as Judah ben Ilai, Rabbi Judah or Judah the Palestinian ‎ יהודה בר מערב�...
  • Eliezer ben Jose HaGalil (c.90 - d.)
    Eliezer ben Jose (Eliezer ben Yose HaGelili) was a Jewish rabbi who lived in Judea in the 2nd century. He was the son of Jose the Galilean, and is regarded as a Tanna of the fourth generation. He was a...
  • Yose HaGelil (c.50 - d.)
    Jose the Galilean , Jewith Encyclopedia Jose the Galilean יוסי הגלילי , (Yose HaGelili) was a Jewish sage who lived in the 1st ...

The Talmud

The Talmud ‫תַּלְמוּד‬ "instruction, learning", from a root lmd "teach, study") is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history.

Originally, Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the law (the written law expressed in the Hebrew Bible) and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works (other than the Biblical books themselves), though some may have made private notes (megillot setarim), for example of court decisions.

This situation changed drastically, however, mainly as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth and the Second Temple in the year 70 CE and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. It is during this period that Rabbinic discourse began to be recorded in writing.

The earliest recorded oral law may have been of the midrashic form, in which halakhic discussion is structured as exegetical commentary on the Pentateuch. But an alternative form, organized by subject matter instead of by biblical verse, became dominant about the year 200 CE, when Rabbi Judah haNasi redacted the Mishnah (‫משנה‬)

The Oral Law was far from monolithic; rather, it varied among various schools. The most famous two were the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel. In general, all valid opinions, even the non-normative ones, were recorded in the Talmud.

The Mishna is generally considered the first work of Rabbinic literature. Over the next four centuries this body of law, legend and ethical teachings underwent debate and discussion (Gemara) in the two centers of Jewish life, Israel and Babylonia.

The Gemara with the Mishnah came to be edited together into compilations known as the Talmud.he scholars (Rabbis) who participated in the Talmud are referred to as "Amora'im" [singular: "Amora"] The distinctive character of the Talmud derives largely from its intricate use of argumentation and debate.

The Talmud has two components:

  • 1. The Mishnah (c. 200 CE), the first written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law;
  • 2. The Gemara (c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible.

Tannaim

The Mishnaic Age . (10BCE - 200CE)

-------------------------------------

Nesi'im - Presidents of the Sanhedrin

  • Hillel
  • Rabban Shimon ben Hillel, about whom very little is known
  • Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken (Gamaliel the Elder)
  • Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel
  • Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai
  • Rabban Gamaliel of Yavne
  • Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who was Nasi for a short time after Rabban Gamliel was removed from his position
  • Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of Yavne
  • Rabbi Judah haNasi (Judah the Nasi), known simply as "Rabbi", who compiled the Mishnah

Mishnaic Generations

  • First Generation: Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai's generation (c. 40 BCE-80 CE).
  • Second Generation: Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh, Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua's generation, the teachers of Rabbi Akiva.
  • Third Generation: The generation of Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues.
  • Fourth Generation: The generation of Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Yehuda and their colleagues.
  • Fifth Generation: Rabbi Judah haNasi's generation.
  • Sixth Generation: The interim generation between the Mishnah and the Talmud: Rabbis Shimon ben Judah HaNasi and Yehoshua ben Levi, etc.

Before the destruction of the Temple

  1. Hillel
  2. Shammai
  3. Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken (Gamaliel the Elder)

Generation of the destruction

  1. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel
  2. Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai
  3. Rabbi Yehuda ben Baba

Between the destruction of the Temple and Bar Kokhba's revolt

  1. Rabbi Joshua ben Hannania
  2. Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurcanus
  3. Rabban Gamaliel of Yavne
  4. Rabbi Eleazar ben Arach

Generation of Bar Kokhba's revolt

  1. Rabbi Akiba
  2. Rabbi Tarfon
  3. Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha
  4. Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah
  5. Rabbi Yose HaGelili
  6. Elisha ben Abuyah (the "Other" or apostate)

After the revolt

  1. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of Yavne
  2. Rabbi Meir
  3. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who, according to traditional lore, wrote the Zohar
  4. Rabbi Yose ben Halafta
  5. Rabbi Yehuda ben Ilai
  6. Rabbi Nehemiah

Compilers of the Mishnah

  1. Rabbi Yose
  2. Rabbi Yishmael
  3. Rabbi Shimon
  4. Rabbi Nathan
  5. Rabbi Hiyya
  6. Rabbi Judah HaNasi (known simply as Rabbi or Rebbi); compiled the Mishnah

Amoraim

The Talmudic Age . (200 - 500CE)

Geonim

Age of Scholarship . (500 - 1000)

---------------------------

Amoraim

Among the earliest Amoraim in Israel were Rabbi Yochanan and Shimon ben Lakish. Traditionally, the Amoraic period is reckoned as seven or eight generations (depending on where one begins and ends). The last Amoraim are generally considered to be Ravina I and Rav Ashi, and Ravina II, nephew of Ravina I, who codified the Babylonian Talmud around 500 CE.

In total, 761 amoraim are mentioned by name in the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds. 367 of them were active in the land of Israel from around 200-350 CE, while the other 394 lived in Babylonia during 200-500 CE.

First generation (approx. 230–250 CE)

  • Abba Arika (d. 247), known as Rav, last Tanna, first Amora. Disciple of Judah haNasi. Moved from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia (219). Founder and Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura.
  • Shmuel (d. 254), disciple of Judah haNasi's students and others. Dean of the Yeshiva at Nehardea.
  • Joshua ben Levi (early 3rd century), headed the school of Lod.
  • Abba the Surgeon
  • Bar Kappara

Second generation (approx. 250–290 CE)

  • Rav Huna (d. 297), disciple of Rav and Shmuel. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura.
  • Rav Yehudah (d. 299), disciple of Rav and Shmuel. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita.
  • Adda bar Ahavah, (3rd and 4th centuries), disciple of Rav.
  • Hillel, son of Gamaliel III (fl. early 3rd century), disciple and grandson of Judah haNasi, and younger brother of Judah II (Judah Nesiah).
  • Judah II (fl. early 3rd century), disciple and grandson of Judah haNasi, and son and successor of Gamaliel III as Nasi. Sometimes called Rabbi Judah Nesi'ah, and occasionally Rebbi like his grandfather.
  • Resh Lakish (d. late 3rd century), disciple of Judah haNasi, Rabbi Yannai and others, and colleague of Rabbi Yochanan.
  • Rabbi Yochanan (d. 279 or 289), disciple of Judah haNasi and Rabbi Yannai. Dean of the Yeshiva at Tiberias. Primary author of the Jerusalem Talmud.
  • Samuel ben Nahman
  • Shila of Kefar Tamarta
  • Isaac Nappaḥa

Third generation (approx. 290–320 CE)

  • Rabbah (d. 320), disciple of Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita.
  • Rav Yosef (d. 323), disciple of Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita.
  • Rav Zeira (Palestine)
  • Rav Chisda (d. 309), disciple of Rav, Shmuel, and Rav Huna. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura.
  • Simon (Shimeon) ben Pazzi
  • Rav Sheshes
  • Rav Nachman (d. 320), disciple of Rav, Shmuel, and Rabbah bar Avuha. Did not head his own yeshiva, but was a regular participant in the discussions at the Yeshivot of Sura and Mahuza.
  • Rabbi Abbahu (d. early 4th century), disciple of Rabbi Yochanan. Dean of the Yeshiva in Caesarea.
  • Hamnuna — Several rabbis in the Talmud bore this name, the most well-known being a disciple of Shmuel (fl. late 3rd century).
  • Judah III (d. early 4th century), disciple of Rabbi Johanan bar Nappaha. Son and successor of Gamaliel IV as NASI, and grandson of Judah II.
  • Rabbi Ammi
  • Rabbi Assi
  • Hanina ben Pappa
  • Rabbah bar Rav Huna
  • Rami bar Hama

Fourth generation (approx. 320–350 CE)

  • Abaye (d. 339), disciple of Rabbah, Rav Yosef, and Rav Nachman. Dean of the Yeshiva in Pumbedita.
  • Rava (d. 352), disciple of Rabbah, Rav Yosef, and Rav Nachman, and possibly Rabbi Yochanan. Dean of the Yeshiva at Mahuza.
  • Hillel II (fl. c. 360). Creator of the present-day Hebrew calendar. Son and successor as Nasi of Judah Nesiah, grandson of Gamaliel IV.

Fifth generation (approx. 350–371 CE)

  • Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak (d. 356), disciple of Abaye and Rava. Dean of the Yeshiva at Pumbedita.
  • Rav Papa (d. 371 or 375), disciple of Abaye and Rava. Dean of the Yeshiva at Naresh.
  • Rav Kahana, teacher of Rav Ashi
  • Rav Hama
  • Rav Huna berai d'Rav Yehoshua

Sixth generation (approx. 371–427 CE)

  • Rav Ashi (d. 427), disciple of Rav Kahana. Dean of the Yeshiva in Mata Mehasia. Primary redactor of the Babylonian Talmud.
  • Ravina I (d. 421), disciple of Abaye and Rava. Colleague of Rav Ashi in the Yeshiva at Mata Mehasia, where he assisted in the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud.

Seventh generation (approx. 425–460 CE)

  • Mar bar Rav Ashi.

Eighth generation (approx. 460–500 CE)

  • Ravina II (d. 475 or 500), disciple of Ravina I and Rav Ashi. Dean of the Yeshiva at Sura. Completed the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud.

Tannaim

The Tannaim operated under the occupation of the Roman Empire. Until the days of Hillel and Shammai (the last generation of the Zugot), there were few disagreements among Rabbinic scholars. After this period, though, the "House of Hillel" and the "House of Shammai" came to represent two distinct perspectives on Jewish law, and disagreements between the two schools of thought are found throughout the Mishnah, see also Hillel and Shammai.

The Tannaim, as teachers of the Oral Law, were direct transmitters of an oral tradition passed from teacher to student that was written and codified as the basis for the Mishnah, Tosefta, and tannaitic teachings of the Talmud. According to tradition, the Tannaim were the last generation in a long sequence of oral teachers that began with Moses.

The Nasi (plural Nesi'im) was the highest ranking member and presided over the Sanhedrin.

Rabban was a higher title than Rabbi, and it was given to the Nasi starting with Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken (Gamaliel the Elder). The title Rabban was limited to the descendants of Hillel, the sole exception being Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai, the leader in Jerusalem during the siege, who safeguarded the future of the Jewish people after the Great Revolt by pleading with Vespasian.

Prior to Rabban Gamliel Hazaken, no titles were used before someone's name, based on the Talmudic adage "Gadol miRabban shmo" ("Greater than the title Rabban is a person's own name"). For this reason Hillel has no title before his name: his name in itself is his title, just as Moses and Abraham have no titles before their names.

Nesi'im

The following were Nesi'im, that is to say presidents of the Sanhedrin.

  • Hillel
  • Rabban Shimon ben Hillel, about whom very little is known
  • Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken (Gamaliel the Elder)
  • Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel
  • Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai
  • Rabban Gamaliel of Yavne
  • Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who was Nasi for a short time after Rabban Gamliel was removed from his position
  • Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of Yavne
  • Rabbi Judah haNasi (Judah the Nasi), known simply as "Rabbi", who compiled the

Mishnah

The Mishnaic period is commonly divided into five periods according to generations of the Tannaim.

  • First Generation: Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai's generation (c. 40 BCE-80 CE).
  • Second Generation: Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh, Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua's generation, the teachers of Rabbi Akiva.
  • Third Generation: The generation of Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues.
  • Fourth Generation: The generation of Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Yehuda and their colleagues.
  • Fifth Generation: Rabbi Judah haNasi's generation.
  • Sixth Generation: The interim generation between the Mishnah and the Talmud: Rabbis Shimon ben Judah HaNasi and Yehoshua ben Levi, etc.

Before the destruction of the Temple

  • Hillel
  • Shammai
  • Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken (Gamaliel the Elder)

Generation of the destruction

  • Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel
  • Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai
  • Rabbi Yehuda ben Baba
  • [edit]Between the destruction of the Temple and Bar Kokhba's revolt
  • Rabbi Joshua ben Hannania
  • Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurcanus
  • Rabban Gamaliel of Yavne
  • Rabbi Eleazar ben Arach

Generation of Bar Kokhba's revolt

  • Rabbi Akiba
  • Rabbi Tarfon
  • Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha
  • Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah
  • Rabbi Yose HaGelili
  • Elisha ben Abuyah (the "Other" or apostate)

After the revolt

  • Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of Yavne
  • Rabbi Meir
  • Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who, according to traditional lore, wrote the Zohar
  • Rabbi Yose ben Halafta
  • Rabbi Yehuda ben Ilai
  • Rabbi Nehemiah

Compilers of the Mishnah

  • Rabbi Yose
  • Rabbi Yishmael
  • Rabbi Shimon
  • Rabbi Nathan
  • Rabbi Hiyya
  • Rabbi Judah HaNasi (known simply as Rabbi or Rebbi); compiled the Mishnah

Geonim

--------------------------

Transmission of the Talmud