This article presents an original reading of the Bavli account of Honi's 70-year sleep. It argues that printed editions present a corrupt reading of Honi's initial statement, which originally read 'Seventy years like a dream!', expressing Honi's existential dread of his own mortality. The story must further be understood as a conscious inversion of the Yerushalmi's version of the tale, rejecting the Yerushalmi's optimistic vision of the role of individual holy men in Jewish history in favour of a tragic account of individual loneliness.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, 2021.