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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works


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Yoḥanan ben Nappaḥa
Hebrew Name(s): יוחנן בר נפחא
Other Names: Yoḥanan, Johanan, Yoḥanan bar Nafḥa, Yoḥanan
Period: Amoraim — 3rd Century
Location: Palestine
Dates: 190–279 CE

Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nappaḥa (Johanan bar Nafta, son of a blacksmith) was a Palestinian Amora of the Second Generation. Born in Sepphoris he attended the school of Judah haNasi (Judah the Prince) where he studied with Ḥanina ben Ḥama and Hoshaiah Rabbah, and later became an assistant to Judah II (Nesi'ah I). He was a close friend and brother in law of Simon ben Lakish and became insane in his grief over his death, for which he blamed himself.
Yoḥanan ben Nappaḥa moved from Sepphoris to Tiberius to establish a school and teach. He was esteemed as a Great Rabbi in both Palestine and Babylonia. His work laid the foundations of the Gemara of the Palestinian Talmud. Yoḥanan ben Nappaḥa was succeeded by Eleazer ben Pedat as head of the Tiberius school.
Yoḥanan ben Nappaḥa died in Tiberius.


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