The development of the customs accepted by the two yeshivot in Babylonia in the gaonic period and their integration into halachik literature. A master’s project submitted to the faculty of the Bernard Revel Graduate School, Yeshiva University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Masters of Arts as of August 1977 by Rabbi Elisha Citroen. Sponsor, Rabbi Elazar Hurvitz.
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Some scholars have already dealt with the different customs between these two schools, such as Assaf’s list of differences. However, in this study we examine the opposite, where the heads and elders of the two Yeshivot consent to these customs. Unfortunately, we have no historic evidence as to the procedure of establishing these customs as accepted. In both Yeshivot, it is quite possible that during the various conventions, that are famous for that period, these customs were discussed and accepted~ My study examines the Halachik bases for these customs, and follows their integration into the Halachik literature of Spain, Provence and Germany until Rabeinu Alfassi, Maimonides, the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch. My intention is to see whether it was accepted universally, after it had been established in both Yeshvot. In this work I investigated seventy-five different topics, their sources being the Responsa and rulings of the Gaonlm. The source is quoted, and then examined to see if an earlier source can be found to prompt the establishment of the custom. Some customs were found to evolve through a questionable understanding a Talmudic passage, some by an historic circumstance. In each case the sources describing the customs development through the Rishonim are quoted. The various texts are arranged according to their order in the Shulchan Aruch. The introduction discusses the historical back ground of the Two Yeshivot, the development of the customs and their integration into the Siddurim of Rav Amram Gaon and Ray Sa’adya Gaon, and their acceptance by the Poskim. The understanding of the development of these customs may make it possible to further the study of other customs, originating in the Gaonic period or at other times. Yet still the scholarly world awaits a global and complete examination of the origins and development of the various customs practiced throughout the generations.
M.A. Thesis / Open Access
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