It says in Sanhedrin Daf 24a:

מאי בבל א"ר יוחנן בלולה במקרא בלולה במשנה בלולה בתלמוד

This is very interesting that the statement is being made by R' Yochanan. He was from the first generation of Amoroim in Eretz Yisrael (Someone not even from Bavel and far from the time when the Talmud was completed) and from his Beis Medresh came Talmud Yerushalmi.

What relation does he have to make such a statement about Talmud Bavli (when certainly the same could be said about Talmud Yerushalmi). Although perhaps only a "historical" question it's still a little interesting why the gemorah is quoted this b'shem R' Yochanan.

(Josh Waxman from the Parsha blog pointed this out in a recent post. I would like to put it here to see if there is any response to it.)

  • 4
    I am putting this in a comment since it is not necessarily an answer to your question, but you need to be aware that there are a dozen or so Rabbi Yochanans. Generally, when no patronymic is given, they refer to Rabbi Yochanan bar Nappacha (to whom you refer, above). That said, there's no reason why this statement couldn't have been another Yochanan, like Rabbi Yochanan bar Chanina, who was a contemporary of the Palestinian Yochanan and who lived in Babylonia.
    – Shimon bM
    Sep 9, 2012 at 9:50
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1 Answer 1


If you look carefully at the Gemara it doesn't really say that.

מאי בבל א"ר יוחנן בלולה במקרא בלולה במשנה בלולה בתלמוד במחשכים הושיבני כמתי עולם אמר ר' ירמיה זה תלמודה של בבל

R. Yochanan is talking about Babylon, or more specifically the Torah scholars there. There doesn't seem to be an indication that he is referring to the Babylonian Talmud. R. Yirmiah (second generation Babylonian Amora), on the other hand, applies R. Yochanan's teaching to the Babylonian Talmud (though even in his day it wasn't a finished product).

  • interesting. though in context, i am unconvinced that Rabbi Yirmeyah's statement is modifying that of Rabbi Yochanan. he seems rather to me referring to the negative pasuk in Eicha 3:6, mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3203.htm#6 "He hath made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead." See Rashi there. Which means Rabbenu Tam might be conflating the two statements. Sep 10, 2012 at 0:13
  • @joshwaxman, DovF: Can one of you edit in some biographical information about the relevant R Yirmiah? Did he live later than R Yochanan? Did he live in Bavel? etc. That sort of info seems relevant to this answer.
    – Double AA
    Sep 10, 2012 at 3:09
  • @joshwaxman Fair point, though I would direct it more at Rabbenu Tam than at the Gemara.
    – Dov F
    Sep 10, 2012 at 3:41

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