I'm looking for whether there is a specific term or a title for a King who also happens to be a Rabbi/Chief Rabbi. In other words, both the religious authority and the political authority.

Just as an example, for a different religion, the term might be something akin to a "Caliph" title (although that term has a more specialized and specific meaning). For Judaism, would it just be "King-Rabbi" or "Rabbi-King" or is there a special word?

Also for this question, language is not important, so if the term is in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, etc. its all fine.

  • I would imagine the closest is "Reish Galusa" lit. "The Head of the Exile" or Exilarch who whilst not royal was the appointed leader of the Jewish people - they would act as judge, take taxes etc. and in many cases, they were also righteous Torah scholars.
    – Dov
    Oct 31, 2023 at 8:39
  • Looking back at this now, the closest I can think of is Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi Jan 19 at 10:51

2 Answers 2


No. The last Jewish kings were hundreds of years before the title "Rabbi" came into use and there was no equivalent title of Rabbi before that point as far as we know.

  • What were teachers called ? "Master"?
    – larry909
    Oct 31, 2023 at 10:43
  • How was someone "ordained" to qualify as a "master" to teach Torah?
    – larry909
    Oct 31, 2023 at 10:44
  • 1
    @larry909 as far as I know, no title was recorded for equivalents of Rabbis during the period when there were Jewish kings (or earlier). It might be that people referred to them in person with a title, but I don't think there is any record of that. eg. Hillel and Shammai are just known by their first names. I'm not sure how ordination/"semicha" worked then - you could ask that as another question. Glad you like my username! Oct 31, 2023 at 10:56
  • 2
    @MosesSupposes Actually King David called his teacher "Rabbi" See Avot 6:3. However it is possible "Rabbi" is the Mishna's translation for the biblical "Alufi". Nov 7, 2023 at 2:08
  • 1
    @lary909 "Rabbi" means "(my) Master" in Hebrew Nov 7, 2023 at 2:09

The messianic chabadnicks, the only Jews today with a Rabbi King, call their Rabbi King "Adon"

enter image description here

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .