Jul 22, 2019
Sa'adyah Gaon
Posted by Robert Brody

Sa adyah Gaon was an outstanding 10th century Jewish thinker a prominent rabbi, philosopher, and exegete He was a pioneer in the fields in which he toiled, and was an inspiration and basis for later Jewish writing in all these areas The last major English language study of his work was published in 1921, long before Genizah research changed the understanding of the timSa adyah Gaon was an outstanding 10th century Jewish thinker a prominent rabbi, philosopher, and exegete He was a pioneer in the fields in which he toiled, and was an inspiration and basis for later Jewish writing in all these areas The last major English language study of his work was published in 1921, long before Genizah research changed the understanding of the time in which he lived Author Robert Brody s masterly work, covering Sa adyah s biography and his main areas of creativity, is therefore a much needed reassessment of an outstanding figure The opening chapter on the geonic period that formed the background to Sa adyah s life a period on which there are few works in English is followed by an overview that brings out the revolutionary aspects of his work and the characteristic features of his writings Subsequent chapters consider his philosophical works his Bible commentaries his pioneering linguistic work his poetry his halakhic activity including an examination of his use of the Palestinian Talmud compared to that of the Babylonian Talmud and his activity as a polemicist, notably against the Karaites An Epilogue sums up his importance in medieval Jewish culture Particularly valuable features of the book are the copious quotations from Sa adyah s works, which facilitate familiarity with his style as well as his ideas the clarity in presenting complex and difficult concepts the constant assessment of his relationship to his predecessors in his various fields of study and his own unique contributions to each field and the contextualization of his contribution within the political, cultural, and religious climate of his times so that both revolutionary and conservative elements in his thought can be identified and evaluated Dr Brody does a good job balancing brevity with giving a non superficial sense of Sa adyah s thought This is no small feat given the breadth of Sa adyah s concerns The book succeeds in providing a portrait of Sa adyah as a man, at least in his role as public intellectual, with a deep sense of mission rationalistic, religious, and polemical Recommended AJL Reviews, Vol IV, No 1, February March 2014 Sa adyah was the most influential rabbinic personality of the Geonic period whose broad influence on the development of the Jewish tradition is still felt today A biography of such a figure was much needed, and Brody s work fills this lacuna It s a fascinating work, about one of the most fascinating personalities in Jewish thought Ben Rothke, The Times of Israel, June 2015 Subject Biography, Jewish Studies, Philosophy

  • Title: Sa'adyah Gaon
  • Author: Robert Brody
  • ISBN: 9781904113881
  • Page: 444
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sa adyah Gaon Sa adyah Gaon was an outstanding th century Jewish thinker a prominent rabbi philosopher and exegete He was a pioneer in the fields in which he toiled and was an inspiration and basis for later J


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