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takkana

in Judaism, a regulation promulgated by rabbinic authority to promote the common good or to foster the spiritual development of those under its jurisdiction. Takkanoth, which are considered extensions of Torah Law (that is, the Law of Moses given in the first five books of the Bible), are of ancient origin and encompass such diverse subjects as liturgy, education of the young, and a bride's marriage contract (ketubah) to protect her financially in the case of divorce or her spouse's death. Among the most far-reaching ordinances of the European Middle Ages was a takkanah against polygamy issued in the 11th century by Rabbi Gershom ben Judah.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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