Friday, September 22, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 20 - Yeshivos in Bavel by David

When Torah was forgotten, Ezra arose . . . Hillel of Bavel arose . . . Rav Chiah arose . . .. Rashi comments that Hillel came from Bavel, “and yeshivos had been established in Bavel since the days that the “cherish umasgar” had been exiled from Israel” just before the destruction of the first temple. However, Rashi in Gittin 6a states that there were no yeshivos in Bavel until Rav established the first on in Sura, some 7-800 years or so after the exile. Indeed, it is very difficult to definitely establish when Bavel emerged as the Torah powerhouse it became, and perhaps this difficulty prompted Tosfos to explain different from Rashi, that Hillel came from Bavel “where they had learned from Shamaya and Avtalyon”.