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[Heb.,=my master; my teacher], the title of a Jewish spiritual leader. The role of the rabbi has undergone a number of transformations. In the Talmudic period, rabbis were primarily teachers and interpreters of the Torah. They developed the liturgy, calendar, and other aspects of post-Temple Judaism. During the Middle Ages, the post of rabbi became a professional one, with the incumbent taking on the additional role of supervision of the religious life of the community. Rabbis of the Reform and Conservative movements pay considerable attention to pastoral and administrative duties, as well as preaching. Orthodox rabbis have to some extent also taken on such duties, although they continue to stress the traditional roles of judging, teaching, and studying Torah. The state of Israel has a dual chief rabbinate, representing the Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities. Rabbis have traditionally been male, but in the 20th cent. the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative movements began to ordain women.


See L. Ginzberg, Students, Scholars, and Saints (1985); J. R. Marcus and A. J. Peck, The American Rabbinate (1985).



the leader of a Jewish congregation. The rabbi explains the religion’s tenets, resolves problems of ritual, conducts rites, and in the synagogue delivers a sermon with a religious and moral content. During the Middle Ages and the modern period, the rabbi directed both the religious affairs and the political and economic life of the Jewish community. In present-day Israel, the rabbinate supports the reactionary domestic and expansionist foreign policy of the government.


1. (in Orthodox Judaism) a man qualified in accordance with traditional religious law to expound, teach, and rule in accordance with this law
2. the religious leader of a congregation; the minister of a synagogue
3. the Rabbis the early Jewish scholars whose teachings are recorded in the Talmud
References in periodicals archive ?
330) Simon Eppenstein, Abraham Maimuni, Sein Leben und Seine Schriften (1914), quoted in Grossman, Pious and Rebellious, supra note 270, at 73; see also Avraham Grossman, The Historical Background to the Ordinances on Family Affairs Attributed to Rabbenu Gershom Me 'or ha-Golah ("The Light of the Exile in Jewish History: Essays in Honour of Chimen Abramsky 3, 7-8 (Ada Rapoport-Albert & Steven J.
RABBENU ASHER BEN YEHIEL (1250-1327), RESPONSA ROSH 107:6 [hereinafter ROSH]; CODE OF MAIMONIDES, Laws Concerning the Sanhedrin and the Penalties Within their Jurisdiction 24:1.
Improvements in the status of women had already begun a generation before Rashi, when Rabbenu Gershom enacted his revolutionary takkanot (rulings).
There is also a cabalistic interpretation of the rainbow as the sign of the covenant of circumcision; see the commentary of Nachmanides and Rabbenu Bahya ben Asher on Gen.
None of these exact terms appears in connection with ma'ees 'alai; and hence its unique treatment by the Tosafists and their heir Rabbenu Asher.
Mendelssohn, who had argued for the salvation of the inhabitants of the Indies, offered this wide range of permissible forms of worship for non-Jews with an allusion to Rabbenu Jacob ben Meir Tam (1100-71), a prominent Tosafist and a grandson of the famous biblical and talmudic commentator Rashi.
Hizkuni, Rabbenu Bachya, the Malbim, and Sforno, on 11:4; Cassuto at Gen.
Moshe of Coucy (Semag, prohibition 8) paraphrases Rambam's definition, as does Rabbenu Peretz in his glosses to Semak (87).
The Talmudic passage itself could be read as saying that Adam was kind to Cain of his own initiative, and this is how Rabbenu Bahya (Spain, 1255-1340) paraphrases the story: "It would have been fitting for Adam to marry his daughter himself, but he acted with kindness and gave her to Cain.
Our second forebear, likewise unfazed by very long odds, is Rabbenu Tarfon who deserves, I must insist, having both his statements in Mishnah Pirke Avot (2.
The position generally adopted by the tosafists in the following two centuries, following the precedent of Rabbenu Tam (d.
Rabbenu Tam, Rashi's grandson, in his work defending Menachem against Donash's critiques, (3) agrees with Donash in this respect, that Dagon is not a general term for idol.