Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi (Rabbi Judah the Prince)
Few are owed a greater debt in Jewish literature than Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, a direct descendant of the house of Hillel, grandson of Gamaliel of Yavneh, and leader of the Jewish People during the third century. He not only led the Sanhedrin after it moved to the Galilee, he took on editing of the Mishnah into a formal, published text. Scholars debate to this day whether this meant reducing the text to writing, or reducing the mass of earlier manuscripts of individual, scholar's notes to a single, official text, which may have been transmitted orally for generations yet to come. Regardless of how it was published, the Mishna as Rabbi edited it, was the first topically arranged compendium of Jewish law. Its creation guaranteed the place of the rabbinic scholacracy as the determiners of Jewish practice. His own contribution was so valued that to this day he is referred to as Rabbi HaKadosh, the holy teacher. In many of the texts that follow he is simply identified as Rabbi and in others as Rabbeinu (our teacher).