Who is Rabbi Se`adiah ben Yosef Gaon?June 26, 2021
He was a famous rabbi of the Geonim era, Jewish philosopher, and interpreter of the Tanakh.
He is best known for his work on Hebrew linguistics, Halakha, and Jewish philosophy. He was one of the most knowledgeable practitioners of the school known as “Jewish Theology”. Emunoth ve-Deoth, a philosophical work by Saadia Gaon, is the first systematic work to attempt to integrate Jewish theology with Greek philosophy. He actively opposed Karaism.
In “Sefer ha-Galui,” Saadia emphasizes her Jewish family tree and argues that she was descended from the noble lineage of Yehuda’s son, Shelah (see Chronicles 14:21), and Hanina Ben Dosa, one of the famous ascetics of the 1st century. He states that he is descended from The nickname “Al-Fayyumi” comes from the city of Fayyum in Upper Egypt, where he was a native before going to the Holy Land. Saadia left her home at a young age and went to study with Torah scholars in Tiberia. At the age of 20, he finished his first major work, the dictionary called Agron. At the age of 23, he polemicized with followers of Anan Ben David, the founder of Karaism, especially Solomon ben Yeruham. In the same year, he left Egypt and settled in Palestine. In 928, he opposed the opinion of another clergyman, Ben Meir, that adjustments to the Hebrew calendar were necessary. Gaoning attention with this view, Saaida was appointed Gaon (Academy president) by David ben Zakkai.