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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works


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Yochanan Ben Bag Bag
Hebrew Name(s): יוחנן בן בג בג
Other Names: Ben Bag Bag, Yochanan Bag Bag, Joḥanan Bag Bag
Period: Tannaim — 2nd Century
Location: Palestine
Dates: 2nd Century

The term "Bag Bag" has been explained as an appellation reserved for a descendant of a convert who changed his name to disguise himself from the Romans. Bag Bag is an acronym for ben ger ben giyoret - son of a male and female convert (Tosafot to Ḥag. 9b). A sentence in the Mishnah (M. Avot) is attributed to Ben Bag Bag (and another to Ben Heh Heh.) Both sentences are attributed to Hillel in Avot de R Natan.
There is an old tradition that Ben Bag Bag was a disciple of Hillel and that Bag Bag and Heh Heh may have been the same person (mentioned in Zacuto's Yuḥusin).


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