Development and change in the teachings of Rabbi Yohanan ben Nafha. [Hebrew text]
Hayman, Peter Eric
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Scientific Rabbinics is dominated by the desire to clarify the relationship between Amoraic material and the anonymous (stama) material in the two Talmudim. One of the most radical suggestions has been that of "fictitious sugya", that stama editors invented and attributed statements, arguments and dialogues to earlier teachers. This issue especially centers on development, change and alteration in the teachings of the Tiberian Rabbi Yohanan ben Nafha, the central Amoraic figure of third century Israel. Contrary to the claim of most scholars, the author of this thesis demonstrates that virtually all dialogue material of Rabbi Yohanan and his prime student-colleague, Shimon ben Lakish, as presented in the Babylonian Talmud, is to be taken as fundamentally authentic. All thirty-seven sugyot of the " sk35" disputation format are analyzed, and the conclusion is that changes and developments in Rabbi Yohanan material through transfer to Babylonia were primarily the result of normative transmission complications, or reflective of a natural process of linguistic and cultural translation from western to eastern modes. According to this author, there is no evidence for the claim of conscious, material invention and attribution.;Once the phenomena of transmission and trans-cultural complexities are demonstrated, the overal statistical picture of Rabbi Yohanan-Resh Lakish dialogue editing is reviewed. The thesis demonstrates a strong connection between the fourth-century Mehozan academy of Rava and Rabbi Yohanan material, that Rabbi Yohanan's teachings entered the Babylonian Talmudic corpus chiefly through Rava's school and that Rava's academy did the literary formulation of the Rabbi Yohanan dialogues. These conclusions support the work of Z. Dor, and bring new supports for the oft-rejected claim of Y. I. Halevy that the Babylonian Talmud was first edited by Abaye and Rava, not by Rav Ashi and Ravina as generally assumed. Parallel Rabbi Yohanan dialogue materials in the two Talmudim are compared, and statistic evidence is offered that each of the two Talmudim, and the two collectively, represent but a segment of the Rabbi Yohanan material extant in Talmudic times.;Thus, this thesis contributes significantly to several of the most critical issues facing scientific Rabbinics.