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GIZA (GIZAI):

A sabora; head of the Babylonian school in the first half of the sixth century. In a very old source, the "Seder Tanna'im wa-Amora'im," he is mentioned, together with Simuna, as the last of the Saboraim (Neubaner, "Mediæval Jewish Chronicles," i. 180); and the same source names in another passage (p. 181) Giza and Simuna as the last pair of those that preserved the tradition immediately after R. Ashi and Rabina, the last two amoraim. It is remarkable that in Sherira's letter, the most important source for the history of the Babylonian academies of post-Talmudic times, Giza is not referred to, but 'Ena is mentioned instead in the same capacity. Sherira (Neubauer, l.c. p. 16) regards 'Ena and Simuna as the saboraim par excellence, whose glosses were included in the Talmud; they are the last among the saboraim enumerated by him (ib. p. 45). 'Ena taught (after the year 515) at Sura; Simuna, at Pumbedita.

There is no doubt that this 'Ena is identical with the Giza mentioned in "Seder Tanna'im wa-Amora'im," the one name being but a corrupt reading of the other. Abraham ibn Daud quotes in his "Sefer ha-Ḳabbalah" (Neubauer, l.c. i. 62) the last-mentioned statement by Sherira, but does not refer to the name of "Giza." A third source ("Seder 'Olam Zuṭa," in Neubauer, l.c. ii. 73; other versions, ib. p. 76) says that Giza was a brother of the progenitor of the gaon Nehilai (beginning of the eighth century), who settled on the River Zab at the time of the Persian religious persecutions under Kobad, when the school of Sura was closed for a long time after the defeat of the exilarch Mar Zuṭra. See Saboraim.

Bibliography:
  • Epstein, Les Saboraim, in R. E. J. xxxvi. 222-231.
S. S. W. B.
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