Dosa Gaon

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Dosa ben Sa'adya al-Fayyūmi, Gaon of Sura

Hebrew: דוסא בן סעדיה ben Sa'adya al-Fayyūmi, Gaon of Sura
Also Known As: "Mevorakh (Mubārak) ben Sa'adya"
Birthdate: (83)
Birthplace: Tiberias, Israel
Death: 1018 (79-87)
Baghdad, Baghdād, Iraq
Immediate Family:

Son of Saʿadyā ben Yōsēf Gaon of Sura and unknown
Brother of She'erit ben Sa'adya al-Fayyūmi; Yehuda ben Sa'adya ben Abī yaʿḳūb Yūsuf al-Fayyūmi; unknown and unknown

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About Dosa Gaon

Dosa ben Saʿadya Gaon

Dosa ben Saʿadya was the gaon of the academy of Sura in Baghdad from 1012 until his death in 1018. He was the younger son of the great Saʿadya Gaon. In a letter written in 928, Saʿadya mentions his older son, She'erit, but not Dosa. Presumably he was born later, probably around 935, and thus was only a boy when his father died in 942. Dosa was at least seventy-five when he became head of the academy after the death of Samuel ben Ḥophni Gaon in 1012, but he had long held a privileged status in the academy and had been given half of the contributions it received. In 953, She'erit and Dosa compiled a list of their father's books. According to the Sefer ha-Qabbala of Ibn Da'ud, Dosa also wrote a biography of his father in an epistle to Ḥasday ibn Shapruṭ, "The Story of Rav Saʿadya and the Benefits He Did for Israel” (Divre Rav Saʿadya veha-ṭovot she-ʿasa le-ʿam Yisra’el)

Only a few of Dosa's responsa survive. They reflect the new halakhic spirit of his father and Ben Ḥophni. In one of them he defends Hay (Hayya) Gaon against Samuel Ibn Naghrella's criticism of one of his talmudic interpretations. According to his own testimony in another responsum, he had taken an oath sixty years earlier to refrain from eating bread, probably as an act of asceticism. Dosa died in year 1018.

Roni Shweka


Gil, Moshe. In the Kingdom of Ishmael (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1997), pp. 369–370 [Hebrew].

——–. Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages, trans. David Strassler (Leiden: Brill, 2004).

Mann, Jacob. Texts and studies in Jewish History and Literature, vol. 1 (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1931), p. 153.

Margalioth, Mordechai. Hilkhot ha-Nagid (Jerusalem: Qeren Yehuda ve-Mini Epstein, 1962), pp. 31–34.

Poznanski, Samuel. “Rav Dosa b. Rav Saʿadya Ga’on,” Ha-Goren 6 (1905): 41–64.

Citation Roni Shweka. " Dosa ben Saʿadya Gaon." Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Brill Online , 2013. Reference. Jim Harlow. 25 January 2013 <>

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Dosa Gaon's Timeline

Tiberias, Israel
Age 83
Baghdad, Baghdād, Iraq