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Chakham (Hebrew word literally "wise", plural chakhamim) is usually a word or title that refers to one who is a great Torah scholar. It carries the connotation of a sage or someone renowned for his wisdom and understanding.

In Muslim countries, a rabbi was often called a chakham because al-Rab in Arabic was one of the names of God and may have caused offence due to misunderstanding, and the attendant blasphemy trials and potential pogroms were feared. Thus the chief rabbi of the Ottoman Empire was called the Chakham Bashi.

In Karaite Judaism, spiritual leaders are called chakham to distinguish them from their Rabbinic (i.e. non-Karaite) counterparts. Since Karaite theology is based on the use of reason by individuals to determine the applications of the Hebrew Bible's laws for themselves, the role of a chakham is more "advisory" than that of a rabbi in standard Orthodox Judaism.