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940 KAIROVAN (Tunisia)

Hananel ben Hushiel and Nissim ben Jacob, native Talmudists, sought to bridge the gap between talmudic teachings and daily life. They accomplished this by using both the Jerusalem and Babylonian versions of the Talmud.


940 - 1006 JOSEPH ALBARADANI (Persia)

The first famous cantor, known as the great hazzan of Bagdhad. Albaradani also composed several introductional poems known as reshuyyot. His sons and his grandson were famous as well. They also served in the great synagogue of Baghdad.


941 TIBET

Abu Dulaf, a Moslem traveler, reported visiting a city built of cane with a "large" Jewish population.


942 OFFICE OF THE EXILARCH (Babylon)

Was abolished after seven centuries. The precipitating factor in its demise was dissention with the Moslems. David ben Zaccai is considered the last Exilarch of importance (c. 940), although he is mainly remembered for his struggle with Sa'adia Gaon.


943 ROMANUS I (Greece)

Forced Jews to convert. Many emigrated to Kahzaria.


944 - 959 CONSTANTINE VII (Byzantine Empire)

Married to Helena, daughter of Emperor Ramano. Science rather than religion became the focal point of his reign and Jews were again allowed a measure of freedom. They were also assisted by Hasdai ibn Shaprut and his diplomatic efforts to ensure tolerance for the Jewish population.


945 FOUR SCHOLARS (Egypt, North Africa, Spain)

Were captured by pirates while on a financial mission for the Sura Academy. They were ransomed at various ports, where they remained and continued teaching. Shemariah ben Elhanan was ransomed in Cairo, Hushiel in Kairuan (North Africa), Nathan ben Isaac Kohen in Narbonne and Moses ben Hanoch in Cordova. Moses ben Hanoch and Hushiel both established renowned institutes of talmudic learning in the cities where they settled.


945 - 1000 JUDAH HAYYUG (ibn Daub) (Spain)

Born in Fez, he was one of Menachem ben Saruk's disciples. He spent most of his life in Cordova. Although most of his writings were in Arabic, they all dealt with Hebrew grammar. He defined the Hebrew triliteral (three letter) root system, providing the foundation of the scientific study of Hebrew grammar.


945 VENICE (Italy)

The local senate forbade captains sailing in the east (Syria-Egypt) to allow any Jewish merchants on board. This decree was probably due more to finance then anti-Semitism.


948 MACHBERET: THE FIRST HEBREW-LANGUAGE DICTIONARY (Spain)

Was written by Menahem Ben Saruq. He was attacked by Dunash b. Labrat who maintained that some of his definitions were mistaken and his idea that that there were both uniliteral and biliteral roots in Hebrew would lead to wrong interpretations of the biblical text. Since it was composed in Hebrew, his dictionary remained a major reference for European Jews.




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