Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Hay (Hayya) Gaon
(827 words)

Hay (properly Hayye or Hayya) ben Sherira was one of the greatest of the geonim (heads) of the central rabbinic academies (yeshivot) and has been described as “the last of the geonim in time and the first in rank.” His death in 1038 has often been taken to mark the end of the gaonic period, which began about the middle of the sixth century C.E. Today we know that this is not strictly correct, for he was survived by at least one gaon of the academy of Sura, but he may well have been the last head of the Pumbedita academy to bear the title gaon.

The circumstances of Hay's appointment as gaon were quite ex…

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Robert Brody, “Hay (Hayya) Gaon”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0009480>
First published online: 2010

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