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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works


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Joshua ben Levi
Hebrew Name(s): יהושע הן לבי

Period: Amoraim — 3rd Century
Location: Lydda, Palestine
Dates: d. 275 CE

Joshua ben Levi, a Third Century First Generation Amora in Palestine, was a noted haggadist. He was born in Lydda and later headed a school there. He was a student of the school of Bar Kappara of Caesarea, whom he often quoted, R. Judah ben Pedaiah and R. Phinehas ben Jair. He became one of the important teachers of his age. In particular, he was held in high esteem for his knowledge of halakhah and aggadah. He also claimed to have intimate knowledge of what goes on in heaven and in hell.
Joshua ben Levi had a reputation for upholding justice and for his concern that the innocent might suffer on account of the guilty (BT. Yoma 19b). His is also reputed to have been tolerant of Jewish Christians and to have restrained from attacking Christian theology.
Joshua ben Levi was a younger colleague of Ḥanina ben Ḥama and knew Ḥiyya ben Abba. He was an older contemporary of Yoḥanan ben Nappaḥa and Resh Lakish.


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