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.

Regards,

Avraham Heschel
Brooklyn, NY


Gilbert <gilbert.hendlisz@...>
 

Dear Ravsiggers,

I want to ask a question that may seem a bit naive. During the 18th
Century and the first part of the 19th Century, what was the process
of appointment of a community rabbi? I suppose that he was chosen
by the members of a community for his knowledge. Was he necessarily
a "graduate" >from a Yeshiva? And if this was the case for a few of
them, where were those yeshivas in Poland during the 18th Century?
Finally, do we have any sources about who were the students of such
yeshivas if they existed? I may have read somewhere that such a
"center" existed in Sochaczew around the middle of the 18th century.
Is this correct?

Any information would be welcome.

Gilbert Hendlisz (Brussels)


MBernet@...
 

On 2003.02.18, Avraham Heschel <bict@safeaccess.com> writes:

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.
I understand, also, that some rabbis were "appointed" by the civil
authorities and were named in Hebrew "Rav mita`am" --"rabbi in
behalf of."

Can someone tell us more about this practice. Also, how did the
community rabbis differ >from the Av Bet Din (AB"D), literally
"Father [superior] of the House of Law [court for Jewish law]" who
had been regarded as the senior rabbi in Jewish communities as far
back as the early middle ages?

Thanks

Michael Bernet,
New York