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Babylonian sage who claimed descent from King David. Sherira Gaon’s scholarship commanded the respect of all Jewish communities. He headed the academy at Pumbeditha from 969 until his death. His letter to the Jewish scholars of Kairwan, North Africa, relates the origin of the Mishnah and enumerates in chronological order the scholars and leaders from the time of the Mishnah to his day. The work is a major source of information on because it is of utmost importance, 800 years of Jewish history.

Twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet; numerically, 300.

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