20 Jun 2006

[m., pl. “Geonim”]; Two meanings, one “historical,” the other in common usage, both based on root meaning of “pride.” The “historical” meaning refers to the Group of Torah Scholars who followed the “Amoraim.” They included Rav Hai Gaon, the last and possibly the greatest among them. The more common meaning is “Torah Genius;” it is one of the highest forms of praise to be considered a “gaon.” The prime example in relatively “modern” times was the “Vilna Gaon.”