"The Rav"

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  • #597332

    Englishman
    Member

    Every now and then I see a reference to positions of someone referred to as “The Rav”. Typically a person refers to his own Rosh Yeshiva as such. But normally others would have an idea who his R”Y is, as such they would know who he is referring to. As I read some online postings I noticed some people uses this term to refer to someone even though others didn’t know who they are referring to. So I thought perhaps they are referring to the Brisker Rov, Reb Velvel, who was universally known simply as “The Rov” while he was still the Rov in Brisk (as his father was known before him) and was continually known as such when he moved to Eretz Yisroel. I thought perhaps “The Rav” was an anglicized rendering of the The Rov.

    But I saw positions attributed to “The Rav” that clearly could not be coming from The Rov. So after googling a bit I realized they were referring to Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik of America, a nephew of The Rov. Apparently his students titled him as his illustrious uncle, in recognition of his Brisk heritage. It seems to me at least that this breeds confusion. Should not he be referred to with a differential than as his Uncle was? (I believe the subsequent Brisker Rov’s are also known as The Rov.)

    #776211

    DaasYochid โ˜•
    Participant

    (I believe the subsequent Brisker Rov’s are also known as The Rov.)

    Not AFAIK; “The Rov” is reserved for R’ Velvel.

    As far as use of the term “The Rav” for Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik of America, the “A” instead of the “O” is a giveaway.

    #776212

    apushatayid
    Participant

    In my shul, the rav is also referred to as “The Rav”. ๐Ÿ™‚

    #776213

    Pac / Man
    Member

    DY: The pronounciation they use is the same, so it may be more of an issue when verbalized (or written in Hebrew.)

    #776215

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    There are four people with the name Rav: The Amora Rav, the Baal Hatanya (De Rahv), the Brisker Rov (De Rov or Ghuv), and Ren Yoshe Ber (the Rav). The latter is differenciated from the Baal Hatanya by the fact that one uses the American ‘a’ as in ‘are’ while the other uses ‘a’ as in ‘Mamish’.

    #776216

    jewish unity
    Member

    Just saying, but you are one the rare people I’ve come across who didn’t know who “The Rav” refers to. He was one of few Gedolim who covered all spectrums of Yiddishkeit; a really incredible thing.

    #776217

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Most Americans refer to R’ Velvel as “the Brisker rov” (well, most americans refer to R’ Velvel as “who?” but we’re both talking about a particular segment of American Jewry) so it doesn’t really breed much confusion here.

    #776218

    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    Just to add some more confusion, The RO”V is R’ Ovadia Bartenura.

    I have always heard R’ Velvel referred to as “The Brisker Rov” and R’ Y. B. Soleveitchik as “The Rav”.

    The real confusion is when people refer to “The Rosh Yeshiva”

    #776219

    Pac-Man
    Member

    Like Daas Yochid said, “The Rov” is how Reb Velvel was always known.

    #776220

    charliehall
    Participant

    Here in America, there was only one “The Rav”. It was a testimony to his stature. I don’t know about elsewhere; I know that the Religious Zionists in Israel follow neither his halachic rulings nor his hashkafah unless they learned in America.

    #776221

    quark2
    Member

    Thats interesting who do the religious zionists in Israel follow? Also i think his son in law and talmud muvhak Rabbi Lichtenstien (don’t know his first name) has a large yeshivah in Israel. Do the Israelis who learned in that yeshivah also not follow his halachah and hashkafah? Just curious

    #776222

    g73
    Member

    quark2 – religious zionists in Israel are typically referring to HaRav Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook when they talk about “The Rav”.

    HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein was the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion (now retired, one of his sons is now Rosh Yeshiva) and is recognized as a Gadol, but his style is more similar to his father-in-law (straight Lithuanian approach) than Rav Kook’s (which adds a more mystical, almost chasidic outlook).

    #776223

    Ralphie
    Member

    In our house, my wife is “The Rav”. (That doesn’t make me a Rebbetzin, mind you.)

    #776224

    charliehall
    Participant

    “who do the religious zionists in Israel follow”

    Mostly the students of Rav Kook and his son.

    g73 is correct regarding Rav Lichtenstein; he is a Gedol with many students but there are far more followers of Rav Kook in Eretz Yisrael.

    #776225

    bezalel
    Participant

    I have always heard R’ Velvel referred to as “The Brisker Rov” and R’ Y. B. Soleveitchik as “The Rav”.

    R’ Velvel is referred to as “The Brisker Rov” but generally not by his talmidim, they would refer to him as “The Rov” (this wasn’t a unique title for R’ Velvel). To add to the confusion R’ Yehoshua Leib Diskin was also referred to as “The Brisker Rav”.

    #776226

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    For even more confusion, some of Rav Soloveichik’s talmidim refer to him as “Reb Yoshe Ber.” In the rest of the olam hatorah “Reb Yoshe Ber” is The Rav’s great-grandfather the Beis Haleivi.

    #776227

    The Baal haTanya is not referred to as the Rav/Rov except when people speak of “Shulchan Oruch haRov.” We in Chabad refer to him as “the/der Alter Rebbe” or “Admou”r haZaken” and everyone else refers to him as “the Baal haTanya.”

    #776228

    Then, there are those who are referred to as the Rav only after shkia :))))!

    #1302735

    Joseph
    Participant

    cherrybim, DaMoshe: I’ve never referred to him as anything other than Rabbi JB Soloveitchik. That’s how he referred to himself, that’s how his rabbinical peers called him (except those close to him or working with him in YU, who simply called him JB without title or last name simply since they were on a first-name basis with each other), and that’s the byline he chose to print his own books under. I’ve never omitted his title as Rabbi.

    And I’ve never c’v denigrated him. Quoting gedolim who said he was mistaken on various issues and policies is far from personally impugning or being inappropriate.

    #1302896

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Rav, didnt call himself Rav either, yet we do.

    #1303853

    smerel
    Participant

    The Rav and The Rov are both spelled and pronounced differently I don’t see the confusion. The first time I heard someone mention The Rav I didn’t know who he meant but the pronunciation made it obvious to me that he did NOT mean The Brisker Rov.

    When Rav Ahron Kotler was alive “the Rosh Yeshiva” usually meant him unless you were in the actual Yeshiva or talking to another Talmid of someone else. Afterward he was nifar if that distinction was used it was a reference to Rav Moshe Feinstein. I can’t think of any Rosh Yeshiva alive today who is referred to as “The Rosh Yeshiva” by non Talmidim.

    #1303860

    Joseph
    Participant

    Is anyone referred to as the The Rebbe by anyone other than his Chasidim?

    #1303902

    smerel
    Participant

    <i>Is anyone referred to as the The Rebbe by anyone other than his Chasidim?</i>

    Highly unlikely for a technical reason. The way Rav Ahron Kotler and Rav Moshe got that title was because at public events where many Roshei Yeshiva were present the other Roshei Yeshiva would refer to them as “The Rosh Yeshiva” By Chasidim they don’t have Agudah convention type events. Nor do they make hespedim with many Rebbes from different groups present. Therefore they don’t really have the opportunity to informally crown anyone with that title. (perhaps because the litvish crowd doesn’t really have neutral gatherings with many different Roshei Yeshiva present anymore either that is why the title is no longer used) But what Rav Ahron Kotler was to the other Roshey Yeshiva the Satmar Rebbe was to the other Rebbes

    #1304415

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    Think nowadays stam The Rebbe refers to the lubavitcher rebbe

    #1304454

    Joseph
    Participant

    For Lubavitchers it does. Not for non-Lubavitchers.

    #1304470

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    i think its the case even for non lubavitchers. With chassidim of any rebbe then ye, stam the rebbe means whoever their rebbe is.

    #1304623

    Joseph
    Participant

    I’m now told that “The Rebbe” refers to the Gerrer Rebbe, even among non-Gerrers.

    #1506893

    Joseph
    Participant

    Is the current Brisker Rov referred to as Der Rov, in the same way Reb Velvel is?

    #1506919

    DaasYochid โ˜•
    Participant

    Iโ€™m now told that โ€œThe Rebbeโ€ refers to the Gerrer Rebbe, even among non-Gerrers.

    Nah, if anything, the Lubavicher Rebbe.

    Is the current Brisker Rov referred to as Der Rov, in the same way Reb Velvel is?

    Who’s the current Brisker Rov?

    #1507090

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    After reading 28 postings about how each segment of the tzibur or group of talmidim referred to THEIR leader as “THE RAV” or “THE REBBE”, one has to wonder whether it might not be more respectful and create considerably less confusion to use the Rav’s actual name.

    #1507156

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah,

    “one has to wonder whether it might not be more respectful and create considerably less confusion to use the Ravโ€™s actual name.”

    More respectful? Don’t know. Less confusing? Perhaps. But then it would be less fun!

    #1507159

    Joseph
    Participant

    It’s like when people refer to “The Rosh Yeshiva”, even when outside the Yeshiva speaking to people not from the Yeshiva. Everyone’s referring to THEIR own Rosh Yeshiva.

    #1507264

    GAON
    Participant

    Joseph
    “Is the current Brisker Rov referred to as Der Rov, in the same way Reb Velvel is?”

    The Brisker Rav was/is called ‘De Ruv’ by all Brisker Talmidim as he was actually A RAV i.e ื’ืื‘”ื“ in the city of Brisk.
    Hence I don’t understand what “current” Rov you are referring to?

    #1507317

    laskern
    Participant

    It is interesting that “The Rav” refers for everyone to his own Rebbi. We find in Perek Chelek where each of the talmidim thought that Moshach is his own Rebbi. As the Abarbinal says that ืžืฉื™ื— stands for an acronym for each one’s Rebbies ืžื ื—ื, ืฉื™ืœื”, ื™ื ื•ืŸ and ื—ื ื™ื ื”.

    #1507399

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    In mainstream American lingo “the Rebbe” is talking about the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Secular Americans don’t even realize “the Rebbe” could mean someone else. I’m not endorsing the trend, just recognizing it. Never ever, would an American be referring to the Gerrer Rebbe by saying “The Rebbe.” I’m not sure where people got that idea.

    I’ve never heard anyone leave their community and refer to their communal Rabbi as “The Rav;” they always say “our Rav,” or “our Rabbi.” Within the shul, yes, but not in all circumstances.

    I remember going to the OU homepage a few years back and seeing it just plastered with stuff about “The Rav,” referring to JB Soloveitchik. I assume it was to compete with the very successful Chabad website which is decorated in a similar fashion. Why did this thread get bumped so many years later?

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