05 July 2011

Rabbinic Popularity in the Mishnah VII: Top Ten Overall [Final Tally]

As mentioned previously, I went through the Mishnah and counted which sages were mentioned the most times (see I, II, III, IV, V, VI for previous posts on individual סדרים), tallying them up yesterday and here is the list of the top ten sages mentioned the most times throughout the Mishnah:
2 - חכמים
Rabbi Yehudah was clearly at the top of the list, with nearly 650 references - he was the most referenced in each of the six סדרים of the Mishnah and was frequently the most commonly appearing rabbi in the tractates. The חכמים were all alone in second place, with no one near them at more than 450 references (see the earlier post in which they are mostly voicing their opinions against fourth and fifth generation tannaim). Then, Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Yose, and Rabbi Eliezer were all pretty close in positions 3-6. Rabbi Akiva wasn't too far behind them with more than 300 references throughout. The two houses of Shammai and Hillel were pretty close to each other (which makes sense since they mostly appeared together) above 200. Closing out the top ten as well as the last rabbi to receive over 100 mentions in all of the Mishnah is Rabbi Joshua/Yehoshua.
Basically, Rabbi Yehudah and his colleagues' generation (Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Shimon, and Rabbi Yose) were the most frequently mentioned, in addition to Rabbi Eliezer and his colleagues' generation (Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yehoshua), along with the two houses....

1 comment:

yoramsymons said...

This makes a lot of sense. the top rabis you mention are the major disciples of Akiva, and we all know the Mishna really belongs to Akiva.