Until the time of Maḥmud II., the title of the presiding officer or head of a community in Egypt. Each Judæo-Egyptian community had its own ra'is, who was recognized by the calif and who exercised both spiritual and judicial functions, being empowered to appoint or confirm the president and ḥazzan, and to inflict punishment for crime. This official, who was termed "nagid" by the Jews, received a regular salary from the community, in addition to fees for executing legal papers. The office is said to have been introduced into Jewish communities by the daughter of a calif of Bagdad. Maimonides is called ra'is by all of the Arabic historians who mention him. See Egypt.

  • Grätz, Gesch. vi. 258. 302.
J. S. O.
Images of pages