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Gabbai

[Sephardic Hebrew gah-bahy; Ashkenazic Hebrew gah-bahy; English guh-bahy] /Sephardic Hebrew gɑˈbaɪ; Ashkenazic Hebrew ˈgɑ baɪ; English gəˈbaɪ/
noun, plural Gabbaim
[Sephardic Hebrew gah-bah-eem; Ashkenazic Hebrew gah-bahy-im] /Sephardic Hebrew gɑ bɑˈim; Ashkenazic Hebrew gɑˈbaɪ ɪm/ (Show IPA).
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.
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Encyclopedia Article for Gabbai

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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