I had always assumed that R' Yehoshua Ben Levi was an Amorah. However, we know he is quoted in the mishnah in Avos (Perek 6 Mishnah 2. Which is really a braisa, not a mishnah, but still a Tannaic source).

Are there any discussions about this (either way): if R' Yehoshua Ben Levi was a Tanna or an Amorah?


The Tzla'ch in Berachot 26b says the גמרא can't ask on Rebbe Yehoshua ben Levi from a ברייתא because he lived at the end of the Tannayic era and, therefore can argue on a ברייתא

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The Rambam mentions him in the הקדמה to משניות in his list of people mentioned in the משנה as "someone mentioned but not for his views in אסור והיתר".

R' Sherira Gaon lists him as the same generation as Rav and Shmuel, but does not list him as one of the people how is both a Tanna and an Amora. it would seem that R' Sherira hold that he is not a Tanna.

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I found the following today:

Rashi in Niddah Daf 18b says that R' Yehoshua Ben Levi was an Amorah,

שמעתתא. ר' יהושע בן לוי אמורא הוא

See here.

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  • And we find him arguing on R' Yochanan in Yoma (about the verse for sequestering the Kohen) – Shmuel Brin Nov 26 '13 at 23:41
  • @Shmuel Brin - R' Yochanan is from the first generation of Amaroim, no? – Yehoshua Nov 28 '13 at 11:58
  • Yes. But he wouldn't argue on a Tanna (at least I haven't seen anyone saying R' Yochanan Tanna Hu UPalig). – Shmuel Brin Nov 28 '13 at 17:42
  • Actually, R' Yochanan may be a Tanna, See 1st chapter of Yevamos in sugya of tvul yom entering the Azara – Shmuel Brin Jan 17 '16 at 20:55

The last Mishnah in Uktzin - perek 3 mishnah 12 - starts with a quotation from R' Yehoshua Ben Levi. Tosafos Yom Tov there says that according to the Rambam he is a Tanna. However, at the end of the Masechto, Tosafos Yom Tov disagrees and gives a reason why Rabeinu Hakodosh, the copiler of the Mishnah, put in this saying of R' Yehoshua Ben Levi, even though he was not a Tanna. London Shevat 5776

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  • Welcome to the site. You dont have to mention your name in the answer. I have taken the liberty to edit it out. If you wish to reinclude it, just edit it back in. – mevaqesh Jan 17 '16 at 20:30

Rav Yitzchak Yosef (Ein Yitzchak vol. 1 page 274) lists it as a Machaloket Rashi and the Rambam if he was an Amora who could argue on Tannaim (like Rav and Rav Chiya) or an actual Tanna, respectively.

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