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.
גאון – pl. גאונים – Geonim – “excellency,” the formal title of the head of one of the academies of Bavel (Babylon, or present-day Iraq), and later Israel, Baghdad, Damascus, and Egypt. It is apparently shortened from the phrase gaon Yaakov, “pride of Jacob,” found in Amos 6:8, 8:7, Nachum 2:3, and Tehillim 47:5. In […]
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 […]