Rabbi Yohanan ben Nuri

Rabbi Yohanan ben Nuri is likely to have been considered a senior scholar at the time of this incident. In “Dispute over the Calendar,” he is interviewing new moon witnesses prior to their being granted an audience at the court of Rabban Gamaliel in Yavneh. Although he would have been appointed to this official capacity by Gamaliel, according to the midrash his appointment was at the prompting of Rabbi Yehoshua. Though Yehoshua may have harbored hopes that Yohanan b. Nuri would prove to be a reliable ally in his conflict with Gamaliel, our texts give no indication of such support. In fact, we have a report that, following the death of Gamaliel, Yehoshua attempted to overturn a decision made by Gamaliel that had remained unchallenged during the latter’s lifetime. Yohanan b. Nuri is identified as having objected to this maneuver with stirring speech in defense of Gamaliel’s legacy (Tosefeta, Ta’anit, 2:5; cited partially in BT Eruvin, 41a).

 

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Dispute over the Calendar

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