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Isaac Bar Joseph


ISAAC BAR JOSEPH (first half of fourth century c.e.), Palestinian amora. Isaac was a pupil of *Abbahu and of *Jeremiah who transmitted to him the teachings of *Johanan (Pes. 72a; Git. 11b). He may have studied under Johanan himself in his youth (cf. Yev. 64b). He was among the *neḥutei, the rabbis who brought to Babylonia the doctrines, traditions, and customs of the Palestinian amoraim (Ber. 9a; rh 30a; Av. Zar. 73a; et al.). Statements by him are quoted in the Babylonian Talmud but he is not mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud. Although on one occasion Abbaye relied upon him in an important matter (Yev. 64b), he was considered less reliable than Rabin, also one of the neḥutei. They said: "Rabin is reliable, Isaac sumka ['the red'] is not sumkha ['reliable']; Rabin yeshno ba-ḥazarah ['revises his learning,' so Rashi, ibid. ], Isaac sumka does not revise his learning." According to another interpretation given by Rashi, "Rabin is well acquainted with any change [in the view of R. Johanan] but Isaac 'the red' is not so acquainted."


Hyman, Toledot, 793–5.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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