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Gaonim: (lit. "the magnificent"); period in Jewish history from 500 to 1038 C.E marked by intense scholarship at the Babylonian academies by scholars who studied and interpreted the Talmud. During this period, many decrees were passed, thousands of responsa were sent to Jews throughout the civilized world of the time, and many important books were compiled.
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As people began supporting their own community institutions, financial contributions from Jews worldwide to the Babylonian yeshivas slowed to a trickle.
Major Gaonim and their accomplishments.
Throughout their time, the Gaonim made a number of decrees to enhance Jewish life.
Generally the Jews got along better with the Muslim Arabs than with the Christians.
The Gaonim filled a vital need by developing new forms of Torah scholarship, including anthologies of laws grouped by subject matter culled from all over the Talmud, with all debates and reasoning removed, thus making it easy to locate a halacha.
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