Bavel – בבל (Babylonia) is what Jews called the region of present-day Iraq. In the Talmudic period it included Persia and was ruled in Sasanians. Later, in the period of the Geonim, by the Abbasid Muslim caliphate.
The Babylonian Talmud, referring to the Gemara as redacted in Bavel, the major Jewish community of antiquity outside of Eretz Yisrael. Also refered to as Shas.
חז”ל – “our Sages, of blessed memory,” the abbreviation for חכמנו זכרונם לברכה – Chakhmenu zikhronam li-verakhah, meaning the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, the Tannaim and Amoraim, respectively. Variations are also used, such as רז”ל – Rabbotenu zichronam li-verakhah, “our Rabbis, of blessed memory.”
גאונים – sing. גאון (Gaon) – the formal title of the head of one of the yeshivot (academies) of Bavel (Babylon, or present-day Iraq), which was also known as Rosh Yeshiva (Gaon Yaakov) or Reish Metivta. The office itself is referred to as the gaonate and stood in contrast to the Reish Galuta, “Head of […]