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Rava (amora)

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Rabbinical Eras

Rava (רבא) was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an amora, born in 270, and one of the most often-cited Rabbis in the Talmud. He studied at the yeshiva (Torah Academy) of Pumbedita: see Talmudic Academies in Babylonia. There he became famous for his debates with his study-partner Abaye. The debates between Rava and Abaye are considered classic examples of Talmudic dialectical logic. Of their hundreds of recorded disputes, the Law is decided according to the opinion of Rava in all but six cases.

When Rabbah bar Nahmani (not to be confused with Rava), the Head of the Yeshiva of Pumbedita, retired, the position went to Abaye. At that point, Rava returned to Mahuza, in Babylonia, where he established a yeshiva there. After the death of Abaye, many of his students moved from Pumbedita to Mahuza, to join Rava’s Yeshiva, which had become one of the intellectual centers of the Babylonian Jewish Community.

He died in 350.

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