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C. 920 - 989 AARON BEN MOSES BEN ASHER (Tiberias, Eretz Israel)

The last and most renowned of the Massorets and a contemporary of Sa'adia Gaon. The Massorets were a group of sages who reviewed the Bible and added punctuation and vowels in order to make it more readable so that no mistakes or questions could arise in the future. He is credited with completing the Masorah, the printing of the Bible with vowels, as well as the ta'amei mikra, the usage of biblical accents and cadence still used today.


921 AARON BEN MEIR (Eretz Israel)

Leader and sage. He devised a change in the calendar, and as part of his efforts to reinstate Palestinian control over the calendar, he reinstated the tradition of proclaiming the new moon from the Mount of Olives. This caused confusion regarding the date of Passover. Sa'adia Gaon, aware of what a split would do to Jewish unity in the face of the Karaite division, nevertheless wrote a refutation called the "Book of Seasons". The underlying issue was one of supremacy in Halachic rulings - Babylon or Eretz Israel. Sa'adia won and received the Geonate of Sura in recognition.


925 July 4, ORIA (Italy)

Was raided by Moslems as part of their attacks on Italy. Ten rabbinical leaders were killed and many others were taken into captivity, including 12 year old Shabbetai Donnolo, later to achieve fame as a physician (see 913).


929 ABD AL RAHMAN III ( Spain)

Who was actually descended from a Christian princess, became the 15th Umayyad caliph and would rule until 961. Abd Al Rahman's rule was known for its tolerance to local Jews and Christians. He appointed Hasdai Ibn Shaprut as one of his court physician and adviser but didn't give him an official title as to not upset the Moslem chieftains and religious leaders.




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