Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Av Bet Din in the Ottoman Empire
(348 words)

In the Jewish communities of the Ottoman Empire, the congregational rabbi (marbiṣ tora) also often served as av bet din, or head judge, of a rabbinical court, assisted by two other judges in criminal cases. Thus the number of avot batte din in each community corresponded to the number of congregations. Large communities, such as Salonica, Istanbul, and Safed, had dozens of rabbis in that office. Bursa (Prousa) and Patras in the sixteenth century each had four avot batte din. Jews from small- and middle-seized communities often turned to the avot batte din of the larger communities, w…

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Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky, “Av Bet Din in the Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 08 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0002570>
First published online: 2010

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