880 ELDAD HADANI (the Danite)
Claimed to belong to the ten lost tribes who lived near Ethiopia and the river Sambatyon. According to legend, the river threw up stones all week long and rested on the Sabbath. The lost tribes were therefore doomed to remain forever on the other side of the river, since on the day when the river was still they observed the Sabbath and therefore could not cross. Eldan maintained that the lost tribes observed certain ritual differences and had an Oral Law of their own, given by Moses and Joshua. Although he was not generally believed, he helped rekindle hope that salvation was near. His tales were printed in 1480.
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.
884 BASIL I (Byzantine Empire)
In his legal manual Epanagoge he reinforced the law prohibiting Jews from holding any civil or military office.
886 THE EISAGOGE WAS PROMULGATED
Also known as the Esponagogie ("Introduction [to the law"), it was based on Justinian's code (see 531), and was comprised of 40 volumes. Although mostly written by Basil I, it was completed after his death, by his son and successor, Leo VI.
888 METZ (France)
A church council forbade Christians and Jews to eat together. Although Jews may have been there since the fourth century, this was the first documented evidence of a Jewish presence in the city.
888 February 29, FRANCE
Count Eudes, the defender of Paris, crowned himself King of France, officially marking the end of the Carolingian Empire. The feudal society in which local lords were the virtually independent rulers of their estates became the rule. In general, as a result of this decentralization the situation of the Jews differed between each local Lord.