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Saʿadya Gaon

(4,229 words)

Author(s): Haggai Ben-Shammai
Saʿadya ben Joseph, the greatest scholar and communal leader of the late gaonic period, was born in 882 in Dilāṣ, in the Fayyūm province of Egypt (after which he is often called al-Fayyūmī). He began to study Jewish sources and general science and philosophy while still in Egypt, around 900, and by then had already corresponded with the philosopher and physician Isaac Israeli of Qayrawan. Toward the end of the first decade of the tenth century he left Egypt for Palestine, apparently to Tiberias, the seat of the Palestinian yeshiva, where his wife and children joined him later.…