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Sa'adyah Gaon$
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Robert Brody

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113881

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113881.001.0001

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The Geonic Period and the Background of Sa’adyah Gaon’s Activities

The Geonic Period and the Background of Sa’adyah Gaon’s Activities

(p.1) Chapter One The Geonic Period and the Background of Sa’adyah Gaon’s Activities
(p.iii) Sa’adyah Gaon

Robert Brody

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the character and achievement of Rabbi Sa'adyah ben Joseph or Sa'adyah Gaon. It looks at Sa'adyah's day, in which the vast majority of Jews viewed themselves as subject to the authority of two ancient Jewish centres: Palestine and Babylonia. It also mentions spiritual leaders known as geonim that headed the prestigious and internationally renowned academies of Sura and Pumbedita in Babylonia and the central academy in Palestine. The chapter recounts the age of the geonim that was preceded by an even more obscure era, the savora'im. It analyses the famous Epistle of Sherira Gaon that was written in 986, which consists of questions on talmudic and halakhic issues that were sent by Jews from communities around the world to the senior members of the academies headed by the geonim.

Keywords:   Rabbi Sa'adyah ben Joseph, Sa'adyah Gaon, Palestine, Babylonia, geonim, talmudic issues, halakhic issues, Jews, Epistle of Sherira Gaon

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