KOHEN-ẒEDEK BAR IVOMAI (or Ikhumai; 9th century), gaon of Sura from 838–48, succeeding R. Mesharshiya (or Moshe) Kahana after an interregnum of two years. Kohen-Ẓedek's responsa, usually in Hebrew (rather than the Aramaic common to most of the geonim before him) and couched in succinct terms, encompass all aspects of halakhah, particularly laws of blessings and texts of the liturgy. He apparently devoted a whole work to the Passover seder. It is assumed that Kohen-Ẓedek was the first (even before natronai b. hilai ) to compose a prayer book. He was very careful not to force upon communities who turned to him for advice the customs which prevailed in the Babylonian academies. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Abramson, Merkazim, 14; H. Tykoczynski, Takanot Ha-Geonim (1959), passim; M. Havazelet, Ha-Rambam ve-ha-Geonim (1967), 162; Baron, Social2, 5 (1957), 30; 6 (1958), 446; Weiss, Dor, 4 (19044), 38. (Meir Havazelet)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • GAON — (pl. Geonim), formal title of the heads of the academies of Sura and Pumbedita in Babylonia. The geonim were recognized by the Jews as the highest authority of instruction from the end of the sixth century or somewhat later to the middle of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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