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Nagid, (Hebrew: נגִּידpronounced [naˈgid]), is a Hebrew term meaning a prince or leader. This title was often applied to the religious leader in Sephardic communities of the Middle Ages. In Egypt, the Jewish Nagid was appointed over all the Jews living under the dominion of the king of Egypt; he was invested with all the power of a king and could punish and imprison those who acted in opposition to his decrees; his duty was also to appoint the Dayyanim (judges) in every city.[1]

According to Muslim scholars, the role of the Nagid (or Ra’īs) was to represent the Rabbanite majority, but also to represent the minority groups of the Karaites and Samaritans as well. Accordingly, his function was to "join the Jews together and to prevent their separation," mainly by serving them as legal authority in accordance with their laws and customs.[2]

Among the individuals bearing this title are the following:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jewish Travellers (ed. Elkan Nathan Adler), chapter: Obadiah da Bertinoro, London 1930, p. 229
  2. ^ Goitein, S.D. (1962). "The Title and Office of the Nagid: a Re-examination". The Jewish Quarterly Review. 53 (2): 98. JSTOR 1453279.

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