Rabbinic Genealogy SIG #Rabbinic Re: Appointment of Community Rabbis #rabbinic

Brandler Institute of Chasidic Thought <bict@...>

On 2002.02.18, Gilbert Hendlisz <gilbert.hendlisz@chello.be> wrote:

During the 18th Century and the first part of the 19th Century, what
was the process of appointment of a community rabbi?
Whenever practical a son or son-in-law was chosen to succeed the
previous rabbi. The larger cities would often invite a rabbi >from a
smaller town. The smaller towns would often ask the leading rabbis
of the time to "recommend" a star disciple.

Although there were few "official" Yeshivas, the rabbi of nearly
every large community had at least a small group of disciples who
studied under him. It was also customary for some of the wealthy men
of the time to have a personal "Study Hall" where they would fully
support ten or more full-time talmudic students. (Much like the
kollel of today.)

In a real sense there were no "graduates." Students studied as long
as it was possible or practical for them. In nearly every community
there were (in addition to the Rabbi) a sizeable number of full-time
talmudic scholars who were generally supported by wealthy
individuals or by the community. "Rabbis" were ordained by elder
scholars, the leading rabbis of the generation. Often students
would travel to other towns to be tested in order to receive
ordination by various leading rabbis.


Avraham Heschel
Brooklyn, NY

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