Gaonim

Gaonim

(gāō`nĭm) [Heb.,=excellencies], title given to the heads of the Jewish academies at Sura and Pumbedita in Babylonia immediately following the period of the SaboraimSaboraim
[Heb.,=expositors], in Judaism, title given to the Jewish scholars of the Babylonian academies in the period (6th–7th cent. A.D.) immediately following the Amoraim and preceding that of the Gaonim. Little is known about them.
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 until the middle of the 11th cent. Thereafter the title was adopted by the heads of the Palestinian academies; later it was used as an honorific title to indicate a great scholar. The Gaonim asserted the primacy of the Babylonian Talmud over the Palestinian Talmud and contributed to the standardization of Jewish law and liturgy. The greatest Gaon at Sura was Saadia ben Joseph al-FayumiSaadia ben Joseph al-Fayumi
, 882–942, Jewish scholar, b. Egypt. He was known as Saadia Gaon. He was the head of the great Jewish Academy at Sura, Babylonia, which under his leadership became the highest seat of Jewish learning, and a vigorous opponent of the Karaites.
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. Of those who held office at Pumbedita, Sherira Gaon (968–98) and his son Hai Gaon (998–1038) are most notable. Under Sherira the waning prestige of the Babylonian academies was restored, and it was maintained by Hai until his death. Thereafter European Jewry came to play an ever more dominant role in Jewish life.

Bibliography

See J. Neusner, There We Sat Down (1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
269) While there are some references to cases of polygyny found in the responsa of the North African and Spanish rabbis, such as Rabbi Isaac Ben Jacob Alfasi (1013-1103, considered by many to be the last of the Gaonim, by others the first of the Rishonim), (270) it seems that they were in a similar position to their Gaonic forebears.
Sa'adyah fue el primero de los Gaonim en hacer una sintesis del pensamiento rabinico sobre el Mesias y sus concepciones se han conservado, casi sin cambios, como el punto de vista aceptado.
It consistently appears in Haggadot attributed to the early Gaonim.
We meet Friedlander, the wealthy Gaonim who gives a wedding party to whom all the poor are invited; but we see also the impoverished who struggle through each day in the midst of squalor and injustice.