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Midrash geonica

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago



The geonim were the heads of two Talmud academies in Babylonia (in Sura and Pumbedita) from the late 500's until the early 11th century. It was their role to teach and interpret the Talmud and to formulate legal decisions based on the Talmud.


Read more about the Geonim at the Jewish Encyclopedia. The JE also has a chart of the geonim at Sura and Pumbedita.


One of the best known was Saadia ben Joseph (also known as Saadia ha-Gaon) who was the Gaon of Sura from 928 until his death in 942. He was a prolific author whose works include:

  • Hebrew dictionary, called "Agron"
  • translation of the Bible into Arabic with commentary
  • Hebrew grammar
  • Halakhic works including responsa
  • a prayerbook
  • philosophical works



Finding texts in the catalog

Do a browse subject search under: geonim or geonic literature

For the Responsa (She'elot u-teshuvot) of the Geonim, do a browse subject search under: responsa to 1040


Finding texts on the shelf

Many of the works by or about the Geonim will be shelved in BM 501.5


Finding texts online

Seforim online


This site focuses on the works of the Rishonim and Acharonim and includes some of the Geonim.


Responsa Project - Torah literature and Jewish texts | פרויקט השו"ת - ספרות תורנית

This database includes Torah, Talmud, codes, and commentaries in addition to works of responsa. Texts are available in Hebrew only. Basic searching is available to anyone, but advanced features are only available to subscribers. Members of the HUC community can access more features through the Jewish Studies Portal.




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