AḤAI

AḤAI (Aḥa; late fifth and early sixth century), Babylonian scholar of the period of transition between the amoraim and the savoraim, at the time of the final redaction of the Talmud. Since most of his statements aim at resolving problems or clarifying matters in their more or less final form, they are generally prefaced by such distinctive formulae as פריך ("he raised an objection") and פשית ("he explained"). He is mentioned together with other savoraim (Ḥul. 59b; Ta'an. 18b). Sages of Ereẓ Israel wrote to their colleagues in Babylonia, "Give heed to the opinion of R. Aḥai, for he enlightens the eyes of the Diaspora" (Ḥul., loc. cit.). The Epistle of sherira gaon (ed. Lewin, 38) refers to three savoraim named Aḥai or Aḥa: Aḥa of Bei Ḥattim (a place near Nehardea), Aḥai b. Huna who died in 505 C.E., and Aḥa the son of Rabbah b. Abbuha who died on the Day of Atonement in 510 C.E. Aḥai without a cognomen is probably Aḥai b. Huna. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Halevy, Dorot (1923), 56–60; Z.W. Rabinowitz, Sha'arei Torat Bavel (1961), 344, 528; Hyman, Toledot. S.V. (Alter Hilewitz)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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