Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Rav Akçesi (Rabbi's Tax)
(608 words)

The rav akçesi (rabbi’s tax), also known as cizye-i rav and maktu, was an annual tax levied on Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire in return for official recognition of the principle of Jewish autonomy and the Jews’ right to elect their own rabbis and religious judges. The first Ottoman record of the payment of this tax is dated July 4, 1480, when it was paid by Moses Capsali, who had been appointed chief rabbi of Istanbul by Sultan Mehmed II shortly after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (1453). At the time the tax was listed as cizye-i rav (the Heb. term rav for rabbi, used by Romaniot J…

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Avigdor Levy, “Rav Akçesi (Rabbi's Tax)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0018240>
First published online: 2010

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