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RABBAH GAON (MAR RABA):

Gaon at Pumbedita from 640 to 650 (Halevy, "Dorot ha-Rishonim," iii. 177; comp. "Sefer ha-'Iṭṭur," i. 59b); or, according to Grätz, from 670 to 680. He was a contemporary of Huna, gaon of Sura. These two school leaders were the authors of a very important regulation regarding divorce. According to Talmudic law, a wife may seek a divorce only in very rare cases, as when her husband is afflicted with a loathsome disease or is engaged in an offensive business. Their decision, however, made it possible for a woman to secure a divorce on grounds of incompatability, and that without the necessity of waiting a year from the date of application and without suffering any loss of property, which had been the previous practise (Sherira, in "Sha'are Ẓedeḳ," No. 15, ed. Cassel). This decision introduced legal equality between man and wife.

Bibliography:
  • Sherira, in Neubauer, M. J. C. i. 35:
  • Grätz, Gesch. v. 117, 349;
  • Halevy, Dorot ha-Rishonim, iii. 173-177.
W. B. J. Z. L.
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