Gabbai

Gabbai

[Sephardic Hebrew gah-bahy; Ashkenazic Hebrew gah-bahy; English guh-bahy]
noun, plural Gabbaim [Sephardic Hebrew gah-bah-eem; Ashkenazic Hebrew gah-bahy-im] . English, Gabbais. (sometimes lowercase) Hebrew.
1.
a minor official of a synagogue, having limited ceremonial or administrative functions.
2.
(in the early Middle Ages) a government official charged with collecting taxes.

Origin:
literally, treasurer

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To gabbai
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

gabbai

treasurer or honorary official of a Jewish Orthodox congregation, often placed in charge of funds used for charity. The office is a carry-over from former times, when men whose reputations were above reproach collected funds for charity. These gabba'e tzedaqa were so esteemed that no financial reports were ever asked for. The Talmud, nonetheless, insisted that they work in pairs to avoid suspicion of wrongdoing.

Learn more about gabbai with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature