n. "A title of honor for the rabbis and teachers who were the spiritual heads of the Babylonian yeshivot between the 6th and 11th centuries C.E." (JPS)
"A rabbi whose learning was so great that he was given the honorary title of gaon" (Rosten), e.g. the Vilna Gaon.
n. Modern Hebrew: genius. (JPS)
"Thus Elijah ben Solomon (1720–97) became known as gaon of Vilna or the Gaon." (source)
Languages of Origin
- Textual Hebrew
גאון gaon '(one who is) prideful'
- Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
- Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
- North America
- Great Britain
- South Africa
- The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
- Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
- The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
- Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
Who Uses This
ga-on, goen, go'on, ga'on, go'oyn, gooyn
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