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15 votes

Why was שמאי holding a ruler?

I heard once in a recording from R. Y.S. Schorr that Shamai represented a middas hadin, an exacting attitude of strict justice (as is evidenced by those very stories). His measuring stick was a ...
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13 votes

Why was שמאי holding a ruler?

The Chassam Sofer seen here s.v. על רגל אחד says that Shammai besides being a Talmid Chacham was also a builder by trade, כי הוא היה תלמיד חכם וגם בנאי באמת הבנין. The apikores thought that a person ...
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13 votes

R' Yehoshua Ben Levi -- 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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13 votes
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How could Rav be disproved?

I thought to answer as follows: When the Gemara answers that Rav is a tanna, that is when the question is on Rav alone. In this case the question is on a joint statement of Rav and Shmuel. (Whether ...
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11 votes

Is it mentioned anywhere in all of the Mishna or the Talmud that Paul of Tarsus was a student of Rabban Gamaliel

For more information, I would recommend reading "Paul and Gamliel", in Jacob Neusner and Bruce Chilton (eds.), In Quest of the Historical Pharisees (Baylor University Press, 2007), 175-223 - but ...
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10 votes

Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakai, or Josephus?

I would argue that both stories are true, and that this is not even particularly surprising. The Roman historian, Suetonius, mentions the incident with Josephus fairly early in his biography of ...
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10 votes
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What are the specifics of the fake Yerushalmi story?

https://www.yerushalmionline.org/articles/yerushalmi_on_kodshim.pdf Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer's terrific article about it. It was the Yerushalmi on all of Seder Kodshim. Rabbi Yosef Rosen of ...
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8 votes
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Was Shimon HaTzaddik the First Tanna?

Depends on what you mean by "Tanna". Generally, in classic sources, the Anshei K'nesses HaGedola refers to the generation of Ezra and Nechemya that built the new community in Israel. Then Shimon ...
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8 votes

Is it mentioned anywhere in all of the Mishna or the Talmud that Paul of Tarsus was a student of Rabban Gamaliel

Although Paul of Tarsus is not mentioned by name, the Talmud in Shabbat 30b has a student of Rabbi Gamliel* who scoffs at his teachings. Some scholars have suggested that this character might be Paul,...
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7 votes

Do we know the date of death of Shammai Hazaken?

Toldos Tanaim Vamoraim - page 286 says that there is no record of his death anywhere, however he outlived Hillel based on a Gemara in Bava Basra 133b.
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7 votes
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Which Rabbi Chanina is stam Rabbi Chanina?

According to this page on Dafi-Yomi.com, it's Rabbi Chanina ben Hama, a student of Rebbi Yehuda haNasi. רבי חנינא "סתם" הוא רבי חנינא בר חמא , היה תלמידו של רבי יהודה הנשיא‏ Other sources: ...
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6 votes

Given name of Rabbi Yose

I believe (though I haven't seen my proof quoted in any sefer1) that "יוסי" is a derivative of "יוסף." See the Gemara Bava Metzia, 117a (last few narrow lines), where there is a discussion about a ...
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6 votes

Why was שמאי holding a ruler?

in chovos halevavos gate 9 ch.5 Do so in your heart and mind if you are unable to free your body to matters of the next world due to being so fully engaged with providing for your livelihood ...
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6 votes

Rabbis and Politics

Shortly before the year 70, Jerusalem was surrounded by Roman troops. Raban Yochanan ben Zakai attempted to negotiate a surrender with the Romans. He recognized there was no realistic outcome in which ...
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6 votes

Numbers of Tannaim and Amoraim

From here it would appear that there are 277 Tannaim and 1,292 Amoraim mentioned in the Talmudic-Midrashic literature. (Note: A number of Amoraim, e.g. Rav [Abba Arika] is also considered a Tanna ...
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6 votes

Were there any Tanaim in Bavel?

Yes. The last Mishna of Yebamot, as Rabbi Akiva testimonies, Nechemia Ish Bet Deli, a student of Rabban Gamliel Hazaken was in Bavel, in the city of Nehardea, there was a communication between Bavel ...
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6 votes

How could Rav be disproved?

There is another gemara where Rav is refuted from a beraita, and the gemara does not answer that Rav is a tanna who can argue. Take a look at Menachot 5a (today's page in the Daf Yomi cycle!). Rav is ...
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6 votes

Was Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai a priest? And was he Nasi of a sanhedrin?

1) Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai was almost certainly Nasi for some time after the destruction of the Second Temple. Per the Iggeret of Rav Shrira Gaon (written 987CE): "ולא מצאנו אדם שנקרא "רבן" חוץ ...
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  • 3,636
5 votes

Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakai, or Josephus?

The questioner's objection to both accounts being true is that Vespasian would not have been indebted to Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai if Josephus had already predicted his rise to power. Of course, it ...
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  • 492
5 votes

How can the Gemara bring a proof supporting רבינו from רבי אבא?

The מגיד תעלומה suggests that you cannot say that רבי אבא is רב in this case, because further on רב is quoted by רב חננאל as taking a different view. The יפה תלמוד ג"ח suggests that in this case, ...
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5 votes

Why was שמאי holding a ruler?

The Maharsha there s.v. על רגל אחת explains that Shamai was, in the two accounts in which he was holding the construction cubit (as he was not reported to be holding it in the first account), showing ...
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5 votes
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Game theory in the Tanaim

The discussion is indeed Dr. Aumann's discussion on Kesuvos 93a regarding the man who dies with insufficient funds to pay for his three wives' Kesubos. He claims to be the first to come up with this ...
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5 votes

Hiding in an attic

This is kind of an open lead. The following is either a proof for the assumption, or a source for the conflating of circumstances. Sanhedrin 74a discussed the vote in an attic in Lod where it was ...
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5 votes
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Does Amorayim read berayta in Gemara rather than recite it

The way that you translated it might seem to indicate that R. Chanina was reading the Beraita. However, we can challenge your translation. You appear to have rendered the word קרא as a verb meaning ...
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5 votes

Was Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai a priest? And was he Nasi of a sanhedrin?

To answer the second question (Nic answered the first question in depth so see his great answer) Raban Yochanan Ben Zakai was the Nasi - head of the Sanhedrin according to Tosfos Avoda Zara 13a: ...
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4 votes

R' Yehoshua Ben Levi -- A Tanna or an Amorah?

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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4 votes

R' Yehoshua Ben Levi -- A Tanna or an Amorah?

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 ...
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4 votes
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Mekor for R' Haim on Tannaim vs Amoraim

See Kovetz Shiurim (Bava Basra 633). (The book Torah Chazal and Science quotes the R. Elchonon citing R. Chaim. I imagine then that it isnt in any of R. Chaim's sfarim.)
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4 votes

How did they ask both Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yehuda Ben Beseira?

The destruction of the temple was in ~70 CE and the Bar Kochba revolt was ~130 CE. Even if Yehudah Ben Beseira straddled the destruction, it would seem to be a stretch to call him a contemporary of ...
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4 votes

Was Rabbi Yossei a member of Beth Shammai?

According to Tosafos Yeshanim at the end of Maseches Yoma, stam Rabi Yosei is Rabi Yosei ben Chalafta. So I'll point out these ideas from here http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8789-jose-ben-...
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