11 Tamuz 5781 / Monday, June 21, 2021 | Torah Reading: Balak
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Rabbi Saadia Gaon    

Rabbi Saadia Gaon

Date of Passing: 26-Iyar. Saadia Gaon sought to reconcile the perspective of Islam with the Torah. He wrote the first Arabic translation of the Bible.


Rabbi Saadia Gaon
(Al Fayyum, Egypt, 882 - Sura Babylonia, 942) Universal leader of Jewry, religious philosopher. Baylonia was the primary focus of Jewish learning for many centuries.  Saadia was the greatest Gaon who lived during the time that the Muslims ruled Asia Minor.

Saadia  sought to reconcile the philosophical perspective of Islam, to which Jews living in Islamic countries were exposed, with the Torah. His most famous book is entitled Ha'Emunot Ve'hade'ot ("Faith and Belief") and it was written originally in Arabic, later translated into Hebrew by the Ibn Tibbon family. In this book, Saadia attempts to reconcile Judaism with the philosophical thinking of Aristotle and Plato, his goal being to bring assimilated Jews back to Torah and halacha.
In addition, Saadia wrote the first Arabic translation of the Bible, which includes commentaries and grammatical notes. He also wrote the first Hebrew dictionary, and a book about Hebrew grammar. Muslims at this time were involved in Arabic language and grammar studies and Saadia hoped to inspire Jews to explore their own religious roots more deeply.

The RAMBAM (Maimonides) said of Saadia, "If not for our master Saadia Gaon, Torah would have been forgotten in Israel." Among his many books, Rabbi Saadia also wrote a commentary on Sefer Yetzirah.

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Saadia Gaon protect us all, Amen.
Source: Daily Zohar

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