In Pirkei Avot, a few rabbis are mentioned along with their place of residence (or is it their birth place?) Specifically:

  • Antignos from Socho (ch 1 mishna 3)
  • Yose ben Yo'ezer from Tzreida & Yose ben Yochanan from Yerushalayim (ch 1 mishna 4)
  • Nitai from Arbel (ch 1 mishna 6)
  • R. Chalafta ben Dosa from Kfar Chanania (ch 3 mishna 6)
  • R. Elazar from Bartuta (ch 3 mishna 7)
  • R. Elazar from Modai (ch 3 mishna 11)
  • R. Levitas from Yavneh (ch 4, mishna 4)

Is there something special about each of these places in particular? Were there several rabbis with the same name and thus, it was necessary to distinguish these rabbis by mentioning their residence? Any other reasons why their town / villages are mentioned?

  • This isn't just in Avos. It's all over shas. E.g., רבי יוסי הגלילי (who I think is not mentioned in Avos). – msh210 Apr 16 '15 at 6:15
  • @msh210 good point! And, I can't believe that I forgot רבי יוסי הגלילי perhaps the most "famous" example! Though, I'm not sure if he is mentioned in Avot. Perhaps, I'll check this. – DanF Apr 16 '15 at 13:56

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