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882 - 942 (26 Iyar 4702) SA'ADIA (Sa'adia Gaon) BEN JOSEPH (Babylon)

Born in Egypt, he moved to Babylon in 928 to head the academy at Sura. He revived the waning influence of the academy and wrote on many subjects, including grammar, halacha and philosophy. As one of the foremost opponents of Karaism, he wrote the exposition Emunot Vedeot, which became very popular. A grave conflict arose between Sa'adia and the Exilarch David ben Zaccai when he refused to endorse a judgment of the Exilarch's court in which Ben Zaccai was an interested party. The issue was not settled for many years and demonstrated Sa'adia's unyielding defense of his principles. He was subsequently expelled and moved to Baghdad. On Purim 937, the opponents were reconciled, and a few years later Sa'adia adopted Ben Zaccai's orphan grandchildren.




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