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RABBAH TUSFA'AH (TOSEFA'AH):

Babylonian amora of the seventh generation. He was a pupil of Rabina I. (Suk. 32a; comp. Halevy, "Dorot ha-Rishonim," iii. 96) and a contemporary of Rabina II., with whom, sometimes, he is mentioned in the Talmud (Shab. 95a; M. Ḳ. 4a). A few independent decisions of Rabbah have been preserved (Ber. 50a; Yeb. 80b). One of them (Yeb. 80b) assumes that the pregnancy of a woman may extend from nine to twelve months. The chief work of Rabbah was to complete, by additions and amplifications, the compilation of the Talmud begun by R. Ashi. These additions consisted for the most part of short, explanatory remarks, indispensable for an understanding of Talmudic themes or for deciding between the conflicting opinions of older authorities (Halevy, l.c. p. 20). From these additions and amplifications (tosafot) to the Talmud he is said to have derived his name of Tosefa'ah (= "the completer"; Halevy, l.c. iii. 19; Brüll's "Jahrb." ii. 19). It is more probable, however, that he was so named after his birthplace—Tusfah = Thospia (Brüll, l.c.). Rabbah Tosefa'ah is seldom mentioned by name in the Talmud—only in nine places. However, all sayings in the Babylonian Talmud introduced by "Yesh omerim" (some say) are ascribed to him (Heilprin, "Seder ha-Dorot," iii. 337; Brüll, l.c. ii. 13). Rabbah Tosefa'ah succeeded Mar b. R. Ashi (Tabyomi) as head of the Academy of Sura, which position he held for six years. He died in 494 (Sherira, in Neubauer, "M. J. C." i. 34; Abraham ibn Daud, "Sefer ha-Ḳabbalah," ib. i. 59).

Bibliography:
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ii. 337;
  • Weiss, Dor, iii. 314-315;
  • Brüll, Jahrb. ii. 12-13, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1876;
  • Grätz, Gesch. iv. 374;
  • Halevy, Dorot ha-Rishonim, iii. 95-98.
W. B. J. Z. L.
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