Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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The term Rabbanites (Heb. rabbaniyyim; Ar. rabbāniyyūn) is a general term used in Jewish and Islamic sources from approximately the tenth century on to denote the adherents of mainstream rabbinical Judaism. As opposed to the Karaites (see Karaism), their most notable adversaries at the time, the Rabbanites accepted the binding authority of the Oral Law (tora she-be-ʿal-pe), as canonized in the Talmud (Mishna and Gemara) and the Midrash, and in the writings of later rabbinic authorities, such as the geonim (see Gaon and Gaonate), and considered all these to constitute a complem…

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Marzena Zawanowska, “Rabbanites”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 27 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0018140>
First published online: 2010

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