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The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Rabbah Tusfa'ah (Tosefa'ah)

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Babylonian amora of the seventh generation. He was a pupil of Rabina I. (Suk. 32a comp. Halevy, "Dorot ha-Rishonim," 3:96) 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. 3:19 Brü ll's "Jahrb." 2:19). It is more probable, however, that he was so named after his birthplace— Tusfah = Thospia (Brü ll, 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," 3:337 Brü ll, l.c. 2:13). 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." 1:34 Abraham ibn Daud, "Sefer ha-Ḳ abbalah," ib. 1:59).

Bibliography : Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot , 2:337 Weiss, Dor , 3:314-315 Brü ll, Jahrb. 2:12-13, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1876 Grä tz, Gesch. 4:374 Halevy, Dorot ha-Rishonim , 3:95-98.W. B. J. Z. L.

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Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Rabbah Tusfa'ah (Tosefa'ah)'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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