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Local Jewish Leadership In Roman Palestine: The Case Of The Parnas In Early Rabbinic Sources In Light Of Extra-Rabbinic Evidence

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Chapter Summary

The question of the leadership role of the early rabbinic sages in broader Jewish society in Palestine in the period following the two failed revolts against Roman rule has come under renewed scrutiny in recent years, with an overall negative result. This chapter focuses on Jewish leadership that is first employed in earliest rabbinic texts, without any literary antecedent in Jewish sources, but with some interesting analogues in nearly contemporary, extra-rabbinic epigraphic and documentary remains, that being the Hebrew and Aramaic term parnas. The term &t;Appointed&t; is commonly used, already in Tannaitic texts, to denote appointed local communal functionaries, whose responsibilities are not always specified, but which often are related to the collection and distribution of charities.

Keywords: Hebrew; Jewish leadership; Parnas; Roman Palestine



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