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Rabbinic judge /dayan

A rabbinical judge or dayan is a rabbi whose duties involve resolving religious questions by reference to the Talmud and other sources of Jewish religious law.

He is trained as a rabbi, but does not hold the position of spiritual leader of his community.
Larger Jewish communities, such as that in Frankfurt, maintained a threeman rabbinical court, consisting of two dayanim and the chief rabbi, which was responsible for resolving matters of religious law which impinge upon every aspect of daily life in Judaism.
The dayanim were thus always officials of the community, unlike the many rabbis who lived as private scholars within the Judengasse.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources