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Gaon (gā'ōn) (Hebrew גאון) (plural geonim — gĕ'ōnīm) may have originated as a shortened version of "rosh yeshivat ge'on Ya'akov", although there are other proposed explanations. It referred in Ancient Hebrew to arrogance and haughty pride (Amos 6:8). Later became known as pride in general: whether good or bad ('Pride [of]'; Late medieval and modern Hebrew for 'genius'). Today it may refer to:
- One of the Geonim, that is to say the heads of the two major academies, at Pumbedita and Sura, and later in Baghdad, during the period 589-1040. Prominent Geonim are:
- An honorific title given to a few leading rabbis of other countries in the same period, such as:
- Specific rabbis of later periods, called "gaon" (wise):
Many great Rabbis (e.g., Rabbi Yosef Kapach), although not formally referred to as the "Gaon of ...", are nonetheless sometimes lauded with this honorific as a mark of respect, and as a means to indicate greatness.
- Jehoshua Brand , Simha Assaf and David Derovan (2007). "Gaon". In Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Encyclopedia Judaica 7 (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale. p. 380.
- Jewish Virtual Library — Gaon
- "ידיד נפשי המנוח הדגול, שייף עייל שייף נפיק, הגאון הגדול רבי יוסף קאפח זצ"ל." — Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the Hebrew responsa book שו"ת הריב"ד קאפח, quoted in עלון אור ההליכות גליון חודש תמוז התשס"ט (page 3).
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