Concept

Exilarch

Summary
The exilarch was the leader of the Jewish community in Persian Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) during the era of the Parthians, Sasanians and Abbasid Caliphate up until the Mongol invasion of Baghdad in 1258 CE, with intermittent gaps due to ongoing political developments. The exilarch was regarded by the Jewish community as the royal heir of the House of David and held a place of prominence as both a rabbinical authority and as a noble within the Persian court. Within the Sasanian Empire, the exilarch was the political equivalent of the Catholicos of the Christian Church of the East, and was thus responsible for community-specific organizational tasks such as running the rabbinical courts, collecting taxes from Jewish communities, supervising and providing financing for the Talmudic academies in Babylonia, and the charitable re-distribution and financial assistance to needy members of the exile community. The position of exilarch was hereditary, held in continuity by a family that trac
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