Versus Whom Did the חכמים Argue in the Tosefta IV: Looking at the First Three סדרים

???????????????????????????????Talmud Tuesdays - DrewsViewsSo far, in this series, we have seen סדר זרעים, סדר מועד, and סדר נשים – half of the entirety of the Tosefta, looking for the frequency of this mystery group, חכמים.  The main finding of interest is that Rabbi Meir is, by and far, the most frequently-appearing sage against whom the חכמים argue, not only overall, resulting in 65 appearances, but also percentage-wise, 38.7% of their appearances.  The next closest are Rabbi Yehudah and Rabbi Eliezer, who both have 20 appearances, yielding 11.9% each, which means the three of them have a combined 64.3% of the appearances of the חכמים, nearly two-thirds of all of their appearances!

Looking at the most frequently-appearing sages thus far, overall, in the first three סדרים of the Tosefta,  Rabbi Yehudah is, of course, the most frequent, while Rabbi Meir is the third and Rabbi Eliezer the 7th.  However, of the times that they, themselves, speak in relation to how many times the חכמים argue against them, Rabbi Meir has 30.1% of his appearances with the חכמים speaking against him, while Rabbi Eliezer has 12.5% and 4.9% for Rabbi Yehudah.

For the listing of the sages and the total number of times that the חכמים speak against them in the first three סדרים, here they are:

רבי מאיר – 65
רבי אליעזר – 20
רבי יהודה – 20
רבי – 12
רבן גמליאל – 9
רבי עקיבא – 8
רבי שמעון – 7
רבי יוסי – 3
רבי נחמיה – 3
בן זומא – 2
רבי אלעזר – 2
רבי יעקב – 2
רבי ישמעאל – 2
רבי נתן – 2
סומכוס – 1
רבי אליעזר בן יעקב – 1
רבי אליעזר ברבי צדוק – 1
רבי דוסה – 1
רבי חלפתא – 1
רבי חנינה בן אנטיגנס – 1
רבי חנניא בן תרדיון – 1
רבי טרפון – 1
רבי יוסי ברבי יהודה – 1
רבן שמעון בן גמליאל – 1
שמעון בן ננס – 1

To be continued….

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