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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 ?
The letter marks the first time that senior rabbis of the Sephardic Haredi stream have issued a ban on such costumes.
JERUSALEM -- Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, a well-known American Orthodox rabbi, got the shock of his life when he learned his name was on a so-called blacklist drawn up by Israel's Chief Rabbinate.
Brewer, himself the son of a missionary, asserted that Congress never intended to limit the immigration of celebrated priests, ministers and rabbis to America, and the Court enjoined it from excluding less-celebrated ones as well:
What matters most is not whether a rabbi speaks about politics, but how the rabbi speaks about politics.
Rabbi Fellman noted both congregations are excited the two rabbis are talking to one another and collaborating.
Rabbis look quite different across eras, continents and movements; in America, we vary across generations and genders.
Rabbi Pinto, who has no formal business education, only speaks Hebrew and won't meet with women, is considered by Israeli real estate professionals as well as people in other professions and of different faiths to be a holy man.
What we've agreed today will provide a framework within which both practical and sometimes challenging issues can be discussed on the basis of mutual trust and respect," said Archbishop Williams, the leader of the global Anglican Communion, after signing the agreement with Rabbi Amar, the chief Sephardi rabbi, and Rabbi Metzger who represents Ashkenazi Jews, who mostly come from Europe.
Note: Rabbi Tabak edits the newsletter of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.
Although the Zealots intended to overthrow the yoke of Roman rule over Judea, they were unable to understand what Rabbi Yohanan, a man of practical vision, understood--that the Romans would emerge triumphant.
4) It considers the depiction of women rabbis and frames it in the context of an analysis of women rabbis developed by Rabbi Janet Marder, the first woman to serve as president of the Reform movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis, from 2003-2005.