Shmuel ha-Katan

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Shmuel ha-Katan (literally Shmuel the Small) was a Babylonian Jew considered a great scholar of the Talmud, Jewish law and custom. He was one of the second generation of Tannaim, who served under the patriarch Gamliel II of Yavneh, during the last two decades of the 1st century CE.

He is known for his great work on the Hebrew calendar in exilic times, which brought an end to the practice of witnesses testifying to the new moon, and in establishing some texts of the Jewish prayer book, the Siddur. Particularly, he wrote the Birkat HaMinim benediction, the 13th blessing in the silent prayer said three times daily, the Amidah.

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