Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

The Early Gaonic Period
History Series / Part 1

Item #: 0021

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Item Description:

Jewish leadership in 7th century Babylonia was divided into two spheres. The Exilarch held political and economic power while the Gaonim, the heads of the yeshivas, controlled all religious matters. But because these is so much overlap between them, this division was a recipe for disaster. Rabbi Wein narrates the power struggle that gave rise to the deviant movement of the Karaites and details the works of Torah scholarship that arose to combat it.

• competing yeshivas meant competing Gaonim
• the Sherira Gaon and his famous letter
• the "culture of corruption" and how it affected the Jews
• Anan - how one man's petty conflict nearly destroyed the Jewish people

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