There's an amora (or at least one) in the Bavli named שימי. I think I've always heard this pronounced with an initial letter sin. However, I saw recently that the Koren-Steinsaltz edition has a initial shin. What support is there for either?

  • 2
    Good question; a look at Alfred Kolatch's Masters of the Talmud: Their Lives and Views shows me that he lists about a dozen amoraim named Shimi (one of whom is Shimi bar Abba) and one named Simi - Simi bar Abba, in fact. Seder haDorot notes the existence of two named שימי בר אבא, but says nothing about the pronunciation.
    – Shimon bM
    Feb 11, 2015 at 7:40
  • I've always assumed it was Shimi. More likely a nickname for Shimon or the like. Not so likely to be a nonjewish name starting with sin, out would've started with a samech as most Aramaic words with an S sound do.
    – user6591
    Jan 22, 2019 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


Jastrow identifies him as Shimi:

שִׁימִי pr. n. m. Shimi, name of several Amoraim. Men. 29ᵃ, a. fr. ש׳ בר חייא. Ib. ש׳ את art thou Shimi (and askest such a question)?; ib. 110ᵃ. Tem. 28ᵃ ש׳ בר אשי; a. e.

Moreover, search results for 'Shimi' on Sefaria yeild 229 results, while 'Simi' only 5.

However, Wikipedia calls him Simi.

Who's Who in the Talmud only contains Shimi and no Simi.

Interestingly, it is difficult to tell how Rav Kanievsky pronounces it here (9:25).

But here (5:12) it sounds more like Simi, and here (9:22) more like Shimi.

  • 1
    Wikipedia might call him Simi because Greek lacks the "sh" sound. Consider Saul in the Septuagint versus Shaul.
    – ezra
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:37
  • Rav Kanievsky might have Sobosdiker Losen though. But you can't really tell from the recording.
    – ezra
    Jan 22, 2019 at 17:15

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