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Geonim || גְּאוֹנִים || Presidents of Talmudic Academies

  • The Geonic period lasted from 589 C.E. until around 1040 C.E.
  • the Geonim came from one of the two great ישיבות in בבל- Sura and Pumbedita;
  • they were either appointed by the ריש גילותא or climbed through the ranks (depending on the period);
  • they were the center of Halachic decisions based on תלמוד בבלי for much of their time period and the works of the Halachic leaders were in the style of responsa;
  • they established the primacy of Halachic interpretation according to תלמוד בבלי; and they declined due to poverty of Babylonian Jews, the preponderance of Talmudic scholars throughout the diaspora and over exaggerated reports to the diaspora of infighting between the two yeshivos.