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Academies

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

An established gathering of Jewish scholars. The Talmudic terms are yeshivot (‘sitting’), also bet ha-midrash (Heb., ‘House of Study’), bet din gadol (Heb., ‘the great house of law’), and m...

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al- Madīna

Overview page. Subjects: Religion.

Yathrib, ‘the town’ to which Muḥammad made the hijra at the invitation of its inhabitants. It is situated in the Ḥijāz, and is the place where the earliest organized forms ...

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Amram ben Sheshna

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

(d. c.875)

(Gaon) Jurist and rabbinic leader best known for composing the earliest known Jewish prayer book, in the form of a responsum sent to Spain. Amram may have been ...

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Ashi

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

(c.352–427), Babylonian amora’ regarded as the spiritual head of the Babylonian community and for fifty-two years head of the Sura academy, which he re-established at Mata Meḥasya. His...

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Ayā

Overview page. Subjects: Religion.

(pl. āyāt; Arab., ‘sign’ or ‘mark’).

In the Qurʾān, a mark of Allāh's existence and power (2. 248; 3. 41; 26. 197), and especially ‘a miracle’. The greatest sign and ...

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Gaon

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

(Heb., ‘pride’, Nahum 2. 3; pl. geʾonim).

Honorific title of the heads of the Jewish academies of Sura and Pumbedita. Between the 6th and 11th cents. ce, the geonim were ...

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Ḥisda’

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

(c.217–310), Babylonian amora’. He and his colleague R. Huna’—both disciples of Rav—were called “the pious men of Babylonia” or “the Elders of Sura” and increased the prestige of the Sura...

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Huna’

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

Babylonian amora’, who died in 297 according to Iggeret Rav Sherira’ Ga’on. Best known of the many Talmudic sages named Huna’, he is sometimes confused with R. Huna’ the exilarch ...

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Natrona’i Bar Hila’i

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

(9th cent.), ga’on of Sura, perhaps the most prolific and influential ga’on in the period preceding Saʿadyah ben Yosef Ga’on, during which the literary activity of the ge’onim was...

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Pumbedita

Overview page. Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

Centre of Jewish learning, 2nd–4th cents. CE. The academy at Pumbedita and the academy at Sura were together the centres of Jewish scholarship in Babylon.

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