- a rabbinic judge who may directly question and cross-examine witnesses
- a judge who sits and adjudicates cases involving religious practices or spiritual matters
- "What I am trying to say is that the dayan receives Divine assistance when he is weighing the case before him, so that he will pasken correctly." (from The Seraph of Brisk: Reb Yehoshua Leib Diskin by Shalom Meir Wallach)
Languages of Origin
Heb. דיין dayán (Israeli/Sepharic) or dáyen (Ashkenazic/Yiddish) 'judge'; plural דיינים dayaním (Israeli/Sephardic) or dayónim, dayúnim (Ashkenazic/Yiddish)
Who Uses This
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
The word is related to דין din, Hebrew for judgment or a ruling, and בית דין bet din, a religious court.
Edit See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.