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  1. The JT was compiled some 150-200 years before the Bavli (WIKI), so the most of the disputes in the Bavli took place when the JT was already finished.
  2. The Rabbis (Tannayim and Amorayim) traveled all the time from Israel to Babylon and back.
  3. I don't recall any mentioning of the JT as the book in the Bavli (not the single rulings of R' Yochanan or other Israeli Rabbis).

Why is it so (or am I mistaken)?

  • במערבא אמרי is a reference to amorayim of erets Israel. But this isn't a reference to the book. Maybe the both Talmud were orally transmitted at the Time of the quotation – kouty Sep 12 '18 at 14:30
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The premise of your question may be inaccurate. The Mishnah was also a ‘book’, however, it is basically just quoted as teachings. So too the Yerushalmi, there are countless examples of parallel teachings and stories etc. in the Bavli from the Yerushalmi.

Additionally, as @kouty said the phrase אמרי במערבא may denote how they referenced the Jerusalem Talmud. Perhaps it is not meant to be taken literally.

Here are some references:

Talmud Bavli, Chagigah 10a, with Rashi, d.h miTalmud l’Talmud:

אמר רב כיון שיוצא אדם מדבר הלכה לדבר מקרא שוב אין לו שלום. ושמואל אמר זה הפורש מתלמוד למשנה. ורבי יוחנן אמר אפילו מתלמוד לתלמוד.
רש״י - אפילו מתלמוד לתלמוד – מתלמוד ירושלמי לתלמוד בבלי שהוא עמוק, כדאמרינן בסנהדרין (כד, א) במחשכים הושיבני כמתי עולם זו התלמוד של בבל.

Rav said: “As soon as man goes forth from the study of Halacha to the study of Scripture he no longer has peace. And Shmuel said: “It means one who leaves Talmud for Mishnah.” And Rav Yochanan said: “Even from Talmud to Talmud.”
Rashi explains: “from Talmud to Talmud: from Talmud Yerushalmi to Talmud Bavli, since the former one is deeper.”

And a more indirect statement showing their awareness of the Jerusalem Talmud style of teaching on Bava Kama 6b:

כשהזיק חב המזיק חב המזיק חייב המזיק מיבעי ליה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב האי תנא ירושלמי הוא דתני לישנא קלילא
§ The mishna states: And when a component of any of these categories causes damage, the owner or generator of the component that caused damage is obligated [ḥav] to pay restitution with best-quality land. The Gemara asks: Why does the tanna of the mishna use the unusual expression: The one liable for the damage is ḥav to pay? He should have used the more standard expression for liability: The one liable for the damage is ḥayyav to pay. The Gemara explains: Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: This tanna is a Jerusalemite, who teaches using a light and concise formulation, as ḥav is more concise than ḥayyav.

  • 1
    I edited your post to make it easier to read. While the first citation is a slam-dunk proof, I think you’re grossly misreading the second. How can you bring a proof that the Bavli quotes the Yerushalmi when it’s referring to a Mishnah, which predates both of them? All the Gemara there means is that the Tanna who wrote the Mishnah lived in Yerushalayim, and they like being short and concise. No reference to Talmud Yerushalmi at all. – DonielF Sep 12 '18 at 3:35
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    There second quotation certainly doesn't mention the JT, only an individual Israeli rabbi. Even the first probably is referring to the study of Israel versus that of Babylonia, rather than their compiled books, which latter are what were asked about here: otherwise R. Yochanan is referring to the BT many years before it existed! – msh210 Sep 12 '18 at 3:45
  • @msh210 yes but then Rashi’s comments are troubling, he certainly knows the difference – Dr. Shmuel Sep 12 '18 at 9:26
  • @DonielF I think it’s just a reference to exactly that, how they talk in the Yerushalami – Dr. Shmuel Sep 12 '18 at 9:28
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    @Shmuel You have no proof of that from this particular quote. Further, the OP specifically excluded “single rulings of...other Israeli Rabbis,” so even if this is correct, it still doesn’t satisfy the conditions set by the OP. (Just to clarify once more - I’m only arguing on your BK quote, not your Chagigah quote.) – DonielF Sep 12 '18 at 14:00

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