I am looking for more information on the Savoraim such as a list of who they were, what they wrote outside of comments/amendments in the talmud, meaning do they have responsa, ethical or halachik works?

  • 3
    Interesting uncommonly-known trivia fact: According to the Me'ah She'arim (on the Rif 1b), the beginning of Bava Metzia was written by the savora'im.
    – b a
    Dec 18, 2012 at 1:49
  • 3
    The beginning of Kiddushin and possibly other mesechtos was also savoraic (See Igeres R' Sherira Gaon).
    – Ariel K
    Apr 7, 2013 at 4:22

5 Answers 5


Any works that deal in detail with the development of the Talmud (e.g. Seder HaKabalah of the Raavad, the Igeres R' Sherira Gaon) will discuss the Savoraim. The Doros HaRishonim discusses them at some length in volume six.

The Savoraim was a very brief and obscure period. Different sources give significantly different information on the period. The Seder HaKabalah of the Raavad writes that the period lasted five generations (over a period of 187 years) and he identifies the following figures as the leaders of each generation:

  1. Rabbah Yosi
  2. Rav Achai bar Huna, Rav Shmuel bar Rava, Ravina of Umtza, R' Techina, Rav Simona and Rav Ina.
  3. Rav Chanan of Ashikiah, Rav Mari, Rav Huna, Rav Chanina, and Rav Chinena.
  4. Rav Yitzchak.
  5. Mar Rava, Mar Huna, Rav Sheshna (also called Rav Mesharshia bar Tachlifa), and Rav Bussai.

However, as mentioned above, other sources differ with this account in a variety of ways.

To my knowledge, other than their role in the final compilation and editing of the Talmud, there are no distinct works attributed to Sages from this brief period.

  • I think this might be better served as a comment on the question instead of an answer
    – user2110
    Dec 17, 2012 at 20:36
  • 1
    @nikmasi I referred you to sources that provide the exact information you are looking for. What are you asking for beyond that?
    – LazerA
    Dec 17, 2012 at 20:48
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    @nikmasi, I read this thinking it to be a weak answer, but then I re-read the question. This answer doesn't really give much information about them, but you didn't really ask for much information. He answered the last thing you asked (about other works of theirs), and he led you to other places to find more information. Seems like a reasonable answer to me. A slight improvement would probably be to summarize what those sources say. Unless that's what the last sentence does; in which case it could be clearer.
    – Seth J
    Dec 17, 2012 at 20:52
  • 1
    @SethJ I have added some additional information to the answer.
    – LazerA
    Dec 17, 2012 at 21:37
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    "To my knowledge, other than their role in the final compilation and editing of the Talmud, there are no distinct works attributed to Sages from this brief period." There are several pieces of gemmarah whose authorship is attributed to Savoraim (i.e. they wrote them, not edited them), among them the beginning of pesachim and kedushin, a piece on daf 3a and 5a of bava metzia, half of 13b/14a in b"m, all of 98a. these are all said to be savoraim by the rishonim. there aere others whose location has slipped my mind.
    – moses
    Dec 18, 2012 at 5:19

In the sefer סדר הדורות הקצר (pp.118-119) it states that the Savoraim were based in Bavel after the period of the Amoraim and they gave over reasoning and 'svaros', logical deductions about the words of the Tannaim and Amoraim (hence their name).

It notes that we don't have many names, but the following are included in the grouping. (For more information about each person see the picture of the pages below):

  1. Ravina
  2. Rav Huna Mari son of Mar Zutra
  3. Rav Yosef
  4. Rav Sama
  5. Rav Achai
  6. Rabbah
  7. Rabbah Rachumi
  8. Rav Shmuel son of Rav Avahu
  9. Ravina M'Imatzia
  10. Rav Huna
  11. Rav Achai son of Rabbah son of Avahu
  12. Rav Acha
  13. Rav Techina, Mar Zutra and Rav Chana (sons of Rav Chanina)
  14. Rav Simona
  15. Rav Eina
  16. Rav Rabai Daman Rov

enter image description here


From Rabbi Yosef Eisen's Miraculous Journey (pg 12)

During their time, the so-called minor tractates of the Talmud were completed, including Maseches Soferim and Maseches Semachos. In all, Rabanan Savorai's total additions to the Babylonian Talmud comprise less than 2 percent of the text.

(he cites Paretsky, Reservoirs of Faith p. 99 and HaLevi, Doros HaRishonim Vol. 6, p.21)

  • Soferim is probably from centuries after savoraim.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 5, 2017 at 3:21

For more scholarly and thorough information you should see Bacher's entry in the JE, Dr. Lewin's 'Rabbana Svorai VeTalmudam', Julius Kaplan's 'The Redaction of the Babylonian Talmud' (p. 309) and then see David Weiss Halivni 'The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud' (pg. 6)

(Can't provide web links for the last two)


See Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm's From Yavneh to Pumbedisa for an easily accessible English history of that period.

  • If you link your sources they will enhance the user experience and will score you higher.
    – Dov
    Aug 13, 2020 at 8:21

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