Joshua ben Levi was one of the first generation of the Talmudic rabbis known as the Amoraim. He was noted for his leniency in his legal rulings, especially regarding such matters as ritual cleanliness, putting him on the same side of Jewish legal debates which Jesus had taken earlier. He was also known for his willingness and recognition that Gentiles have a place in heaven and his tolerance of Jewish Christians, an attitude which is remarkable considering the bitter animosities which raged between Jewish Christians and their fellow Jews during the early third century in Palestine.
Tradition holds that Joshua ben Levi was a close personal friend of the prophet Elijah and even had a conversation with the Messiah. The Messiah promised him that he would come "today!" if only God's people would repent. That is a story which Unificationists can well appreciate, for they, too, believe that the time of Messiah's coming is not predestined, but dependent on the response of God's people to His will.