Hiyya b. Joseph

For the 3d generetion Amora sage of babylon, see Rav Yosef b. Hiyya.

R. Hiyya b. Joseph[1] (or Rav Hiyya b. Yosef;[2]Hebrew: רבי חייא בר יוסף[3]) was an Amora sage of Babylon of the second generation (3rd-century) of the Amoraic era. He studied under the most prominent sages of the Amoraim, R. Abba Arika ("Rav"), and Samuel of Nehardea, and later made Aliyah to the Land of Israel and studied under R. Yochanan bar Nafcha and Shimon ben Lakish.

Teachers and colleagues

He mainly studied under Abba Arika and frequently submits his papers.[4] He would sometimes go to Samul's school and submit second hand reports of Abba Arika, and get Samuel's response.[5] He was also a pupil of Samuel (probably after the death of Abba Arika, like some other of Abba Arika's students), and addressed him with questions,[6] and would some times dispute him [7]

Upon arrival to the Land of Israel he studied with R. Yochanan bar Nafcha and Shimon ben Lakish,[8] and had submitted rulings of Abba Arika.[9] Even with Yochanan bar Nafcha he disputed on various matters.[10] The Talmud also mentions that Hiyya b. Joseph is addressing Yochanan bar Nafcha with questions, however, he was probably not accounted as his pupil: in a dispute among them, Hiyya b. Joseph is mentioned first, and various doubts on Halachaic matters were brought before both of them as one.[11] At times, Hiyya b. Joseph also delivers statements in the name of Hoshaiah Rabbah.[12]


R. Gidal has studied under him when he was still in Babylon, and delivers statements in his name that are second hand statements made by Abba Arika.[13]

While living in the Land of Israel, he studied under R. Hiyya bar Abba, who was primarily a student of R. Yochanan bar Nafcha.[14] The Rabbis of Caesarea, the students of Caesarea academy, are also citing in his name.[15]


When he was living in Babylon, he resided in a place called Sikara on the shore of the Tigris river, nearby Mahuza,[16] and had served as the city sage instituting measures.

When he was living in the Land of Israel, he made his livelihood from salt trading.[17]

Little is known about his family, except that after immigrating to the Land of Israel alone, He sent someone to bring his wife.[18]


  1. TANNAIM AND AMORAIM, jewishencyclopedia.com;List(Ḥiyya b. Joseph (B and P; 2)
  2. Rav Hiyya b. Yosef | רב הייא בר יוסף, sages of the Talmud | חכמי התלמוד
  3. In resources from the Land of Israel he is often called "חייה" instead of "חייא", and where his father is sometimes called "יוסי" ("Jose"). Aside from carrying the title "Rabbi", he is known as "Rav", as is customary among scholars of Babylon
  4. Babylon Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, 7a; Tractate Yebamoth, 92b; Tractate Kethuboth, 50b, and more.
  5. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, 53a; Tractate Hullin, 45b; In both cases, Samuel responded harshly, "If he said so - then we do not know anything about the laws of Shabbat Trefah", an expression that is unmatched in the Talmud, and he may have thought that R. Hiyya did not understand well the second hand reports ('יבוא הלוי', Hullin, p. 187)
  6. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Yebamoth, 58a
  7. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Erubin, 95a; Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Ma'aser Sheni, ch. 1, Halacha 3; In the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Bezah, 32b it is said: "R. Hiyya b. Joseph recited in the presence of R. Nahman", Which is inconsistent with the order of time. hence, in "Halakhot Gedolot" ("Halakhot Yom-Tov") and in Asher ben Jehiel (on Tractate Bezah, ch. 4:8) the version is: "in the presence of R. Yochanan".
  8. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Hullin, 54a; Tractate Temurah, 7a
  9. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Gittin, 39a
  10. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Zebahim, 20b; Tractate Menahoth 90a; Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Bava Metzia, ch. 4, Halcha 2
  11. Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Bava Metzia, ch. 4, Halacha 2; Tractate, Bava Batra, ch. 9, Halacha 6
  12. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, 16b; Tractate Avodah Zarah, 51b
  13. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, 7a; Tractate Yebamoth, 92b; Tractate Avodah Zarah, 50a
  14. Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Kil'ayim, ch.4, Halacha 4
  15. Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Yoma, ch.1, halacha 1
  16. According to Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Hullin, 94b
  17. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Bava Metzia, 48b; According to an equivalent story in the Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Bava Metzia, ch. 4, Halacha 2, Hiyya b. Joseph was the buyer not the seller
  18. Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Sotah, ch. 1, Halacha 3; Commentators of the Jerusalem talmud interpreted, in that context, that he was a Kohen and his wife fell in captivity, though Aaron Hyman in Toldot Tanẚim ṿe-ʾAmorẚim opines that this is not true and interpreted the context of the matter in a different way.
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