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PINḲES (, from πίναξ = "a board," "a writing-tablet"):

Term generally denoting the register of any Jewish community, in which the proceedings of and events relating to the community are recorded. The word originally denoted a writing-tablet, of which, according to the Mishnah (Kelim xxiv. 7), there were three kinds: (1) a tablet covered with dust, used chiefly for marking thereon arithmetical calculations, and large enough to serve as a seat; (2) one covered with a layer of wax, the writingupon which was executed with a stylet; and (3) a smooth tablet written upon with ink. Later the term was applied to a book composed of such tablets (comp. Shab. xii. 4-5), and afterward to any book. The term "pinḳes" as denoting a register occurs in the Mishnah: "The pinḳes is open, and the hand writes" (Ab. iii. 16). See Council of Four Lands; Taḳḳanah.

E. C. M. Sel.
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