Church of St Jacob NisibisAlready in the tannaitic period, Rabbinic sages were to be found in Babylonia. Most prominent among them was Rabbi Judah ben Bathyra I (mid-first century C.E.) settled in Nisibis before the destruction of the Temple.

Rabbi Yose said, “Once I visited Nisibis, (128) and I saw an old man there, and I said to him, ‘Have you even been expert in the teachings of Rabbi Judah Ben Bathyra?’ and he said to me, ‘Rabbi, I was a money-changer in my city, and he used to change money at my table.'”

(128) A trade center in northern Mesopotamia