RABBAH TOSFA'AH (middle of the fifth century), Babylonian amora. He was a pupil of *Ravina (I) (Suk. 32a; BK 119a), and a colleague of the latter's nephew, *Ravina (II) (Yev. 75b; MK 4a). He succeeded Mar Bar Rav Ashi as head of the Sura Academy, a position he held for six years until his death in 474 (Ibn Daud, Book of Tradition, 36). Although among the last of the amoraim, he still gave original rulings. He declared a child legitimate although born to a woman whose husband had gone overseas 12 months before the birth, assuming that a pregnancy may extend as long as that period (Yev. 80b; for another example see Ber. 50a). Some claim that his name, Tosfa'ah ("the amplifier"), reflects the activity of making additions of brief, explanatory remarks, through which he clarified talmudic themes and decided between the conflicting opinions of earlier amoraim (Halevy, Dorot, 3 (1923), 19; but see Ḥ. Albeck, in: Sinai, Sefer Yovel (1958), 72). He is in fact mentioned by name in the Talmud only in nine places.
Hyman, Toledot, 1086f.; Ḥ. Albeck, Mavola-Talmudim (1969), 448.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.