Thursday, April 09, 2015

A gap of tradition between the Talmud and the Geonim?

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: Did the Jewish academies of Sura and Pumbedita hold original commentaries to the Talmud? T-S F9.41 (Zvi Stampfer, Cambridge Library Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit).
From this we can conclude that there were significant cases in which the central Jewish Academies of the Geonic period had received no authoritative tradition from the Talmudic period on the passages in the Talmud. This suggests that there was a disconnection and interruption between the time of the Talmud’s editing and the Geonic academies. This interruption probably occurred during the 6th century as Rav Sherira (Rabbi Hayya’s father) informs us in his epistle:
And there were years of persecution and troubles at the end of the Persian (i.e. Sasanian) monarchy and they were unable to establish public lectures and convene the academy… until a number of years had elapsed (Brody 1998: 8)
Via the Talmud Blog on Facebook.