Halakhah and Law in the Period of the Geonim

Gideon Libson

in An Introduction to the History and Sources of Jewish Law

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262626
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682360 | DOI:
Halakhah and Law in the Period of the Geonim

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The geonic period signifies the five centuries between the consolidation of the Talmud during the sixth century C.E. and the emerge of the rishonim authorities in the eleventh. The name of this period was derived from ga' on: a term which meant ‘Excellency’ and was used to refer to the Sages who had authority over such agencies as the Academies of Sura and Pumbedita in Babylonia. This chapter makes use of four major sources of literature to look into the progress experienced by Jewish law in the geonic period: the Story of Nathan haBavli, the Epistle of Rav Sherira Gaon, shtarot from Cairo Genizah, and various letters that were written by the Geonim that include significant historical information. It is important to note that this chapter includes a discussion about the saboraic period (due to the similar nature of the Geonim and the Saboraim) which results in a difficulty in distinction between the two periods.

Keywords: geonic period; Talmud; rishonim; Geonim; Saboraim

Chapter.  22233 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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