Gaon (Hebrew)

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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.[1][2] It referred in Ancient Hebrew to arrogance and haughty pride (Amos 6:8).[citation needed] 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:

Many great Rabbis (e.g., Rabbi Yosef Kapach),[3] 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.


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Jewish Virtual Library — Gaon
  3. ^ "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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