NATRONAI BAR HILAI

NATRONAI BAR HILAI (ninth cent.), gaon of Sura from 853 to 858. Natronai's father Hilai, who died in 797, was also gaon of Sura. One of the most prolific writers of responsa among the geonim of the ninth century, Natronai always replied in the language in which he was addressed, whether Hebrew, Aramaic,   or Arabic. He is said to have been the first to use Arabic for scholarly correspondence. He had strong ties with all parts of the Diaspora, especially Spain, and in particular Lucena, of whose Jews he was especially demanding, "since there is no non-Jew among you." His responsa deal largely with matters pertaining to liturgy, and his responsum to a query from the Lucena community as to how to fulfill the rabbinic dictum to recite 100 benedictions daily, constitutes the nucleus of the Jewish prayer book. He gave a historical explanation of Rav's statement (Shab. 24a) that it is necessary to recite the haftarah after the reading of the Pentateuch portion at the Sabbath afternoon service. According to him the Persians objected to this custom. This practice was abolished and never reinstated. He is the author of the earliest responsum regarding the geonic ordinance that debts may be collected from movable property. In another responsum, he stresses the importance of the study of the Babylonian Talmud for the unlearned since it includes both Bible and Mishnah. Natronai did not insist that his questioners act in accordance with the customs prevailing in the two Babylonian academies. Only where he suspected Karaite influence, did his tone become authoritarian, and he declared that he who omitted the midrashic sections in the Passover Haggadah should be considered a heretic and liable to excommunication. Natronai once even denounced a Palestinian law which differed from the Babylonian, maintaining, "They err and have gone astray." Natronai insisted on regular congregational recitation of the Aramaic Targum, a decision which was incorporated in R. amram 's prayer book. He prohibited recitation from vocalized scrolls in the synagogue, a practice encouraged by the Karaites. Natronai also included in his responsa commentaries to various tractates of the Talmud. A collection of halakhot similar to the Ḥalakhot Keẓuvot which has been ascribed to him is probably a condensation from his responsa, and some of the responsa attributed to Natronai bar Hilai are probably those of Natronai bar Nehemiah, Gaon of Pumbedita. Natronai was also stated to practice mysticism, through the agency of which he caused himself to be transported to Spain, where he taught the people and, just as mysteriously, to have transported himself back to Babylon. Hai Gaon denied this, suggesting that some adventurer may have impersonated Natronai in Spain. Natronai became a legendary personality and many fictitious and fanciful decisions were attributed to him, particularly in Yemenite Midrashim. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Ginzberg, Geonica, 2 (1909), 415; S. Assaf, Teshuvot ha-Ge'onim (1928), 267; A.L. Frumkin (ed.), Seder R. Amram, 1 (1912), 25a–b; Lewin, Oẓar, 2 pt. 2 (1930), 110; 4 pt. 2 (1931), 20; H. Tykocinski, Takkanot ha-Ge'onim (1959), passim; M. Havazelet, Ha-Rambam ve-ha-Ge'onim (1967), 35 n. 25; S. Liebermann, Midreshei Teiman (1940), 39; Baron, Social2, 3 (1958), index. (Meir Havazelet)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Natronaï bar Hilaï —  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Natronaï ben Nehemia. Natronaï ben (ou bar) Hilaï Gaon (hébreu : רב נטרונאי בר רב הילאי Rav Natronaï bar Rav Hilaï) est un rabbin babylonien du IXe siècle. Il assure le gaonat (direction académique)… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Natronai bar-Hilai — (9th century)    Gaon of Sura, 853–8. Over three hundred of Natronai’s responsa are extant to questions in Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic. They deal with Torah readings, Talmud difficulties and the liturgy. In one of his responsa he sets forth the… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Natronai bar Hilai — (fl. 9th cent.)    Babylonian gaon of the academy at Sura (853 6). He was one of the most prolific writers of responsa among the geonim in the 9th century. His responsum to a query from the Lucena Jewish community as to how to fulfil the rabbinic …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Natronai ben Hilai — Not to be confused with Natronai ben Nehemiah. Rabbinical Eras Chazal Zugot Tannaim Amoraim Savoraim Geonim Rishonim Acharonim Natronai ben Hilai (Hebrew: נטרונאי בן הלאי or Natronai Gaon, Hebrew: נטרונאי גאון; Full name: Natronai ben R. Hilai… …   Wikipedia

  • Natronai ben Nehemiah — Not to be confused with Natronai ben Hilai. Rabbinical Eras Chazal Zugot Tannaim Amoraim Savoraim Geonim Rishonim Acharonim Natronai ben Nehemiah (Hebrew: נטרונאי בן נחמיה; also called: Mar R. Yanka, Hebrew: בר מר ינקא) was Gaon of Pumbedita from …   Wikipedia

  • 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… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sar Shalom ben Boaz — Sar Shalom ben (ou bar) Boaz (hébreu : שר שלום בן בועז) est un rabbin babylonien du IXe siècle (d. à Soura en 859 ou 864). Il assure le gaonat (direction académique) de l’école de Soura pendant dix ans, succédant à Cohen Tzedek I et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • GEONIC LITERATURE — This entry includes the basic books of geonic literature, which were compiled during the geonic period – from the year 600 to 1040, approximately. Geonic literature includes several types of works: 1. Commentaries on the Bible 2. Commentaries on… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Geonim — Gueonim Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gaon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ghe'onim — Gueonim Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gaon …   Wikipédia en Français

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