Becoming A Rebbetzin
Home › Forums › Tzadikim Stories & Yartzheits › Becoming A Rebbetzin
- This topic has 56 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 11 months ago by rebdoniel.
May 6, 2012 5:33 am at 5:33 am #603276mermaidMember
How can a lady become a Rebbetzin? Does she need to be married to a Rabbi to be a Rebbetzin or can someone be a Rebbetzin even if her husband is not in the rabbinate? And is the wife of every Rabbi automatically a Rebbetzin?May 6, 2012 5:53 am at 5:53 am #958795ZeesKiteParticipant
No. You’ve never heard of “Mr. & Rebbetzin ..”May 6, 2012 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #958796mermaidMember
Does being a rebbetzin, by itself, make her a bigger authority in anything than anyone else?May 6, 2012 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #958797
A lady married to a rabbi is a rebbetzin. It does not give her authority to do anything other than ASK HER HUSBAND…. but she is representing her husbands values so she needs to look the partMay 6, 2012 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #958798
LOL… this brings back some really weird memories which I wil not bring up as I’ve got friends on the CR who do not know who I am and I’d like it to stay that way :).
Personally, I think a rebbetzin is what you choose to become. If you’re the “rebbetzin type” and you do “rebbetzin stuff”—eg: helping people, being an awesome person, etc— then you can be a rebbetzin no matter who you’re married to and whether or not you’re married at all.
My aunt is a “rebbetzin bas rebbetzin” and she said that when my uncle first got his position in his shul, they were still “Rabbi and Mrs.” and now she’s grown to become “Rabbi and Rebbetzin” because it doesn’t come automatically.May 6, 2012 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #958799
Rebbetzin is the title of the wife of a Rabbi, though we tend to think of it more as a shul rebbetzin. If she prefers, she can simply be called “Mrs (whatever).” Most Rebbetzins are referred to as such when their husband is the rov of a shul or Rosh Yeshivah type. It confers NO special talents or bina yesaira upon her (she could even technically be a total am haaretz, but that is not so likely that a rov would have such a shidduch nowadays), and she must ALWAYS ask her husband for any shailah presented to her. The title conjures up a certain image, but it really is simply the way one may address the wife of a man who has smicha and is called rabbi.
Many rebbetzins, who are learned women, give shiurim to the ladies in their shuls, but that is not a requirement of the title “Rebbetzin” (it might be expected, however, by the shul Sisterhood, when they hire the rov). Otherwise, a typical Rebebtzin might do little else but make cholent for the shul for kiddush, in a shteeble type situation. Her strengths might lie more in being an ear for the women, to relate back to her husband, when there are issues that need to be conveyed to him in a tzniusdig way. If well-educated or highly-motivated, the rebbetzin might take a more active role in community issues. I have seen rebbetzins on both sides of the spectrum, some very active, and some extremely passive and non-involved. Both were rebbetzins.May 6, 2012 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #9588002scentsParticipant
I think that it depends on what you wanna become.
just the title, then you have to be married to a Rebbe.
If you would like to be Choshuv, then all you got to do is Chushuva things, regardless on whom your Husband is.May 6, 2012 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #958801TheGoqParticipant
No a person cant be rebbetzin without being married to a rabbi just like an older single cant be considered an adult until they get married.May 6, 2012 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #958802
All you got to do is teach limudei kodesh in a girls’ school. 😀May 6, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #958803
oneofmany: i thought that was just in brooklyn!! but yeah, we had to call all of our high school teachers rebbetzin which was pretty pathetic because it took too long to say rebbetzin and then a last name so we used to drop the rebbetzin and just call them by their last names. Another problem with the system was that I kind of lost respect for the title rebbetzin after a single teacher of mine got married and went from being Miss K. to Reb. B.
You are not Rebbetzin unless your husband has smicha.May 6, 2012 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #958804
Heh, I went to school in Brooklyn so it could be. All the teachers would complain about it. 😛May 6, 2012 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #958805PatriMember
Is popa’s wife a rebbetzin (or will she be)?May 6, 2012 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #958806
none of our teachers complained about the fact that they were called by just last names. As a matter of a fact, they would refer to themselves, and to other teachers, without a title.May 6, 2012 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #958807
No, I meant the rebbetzin bit. Not all the teachers appreciated it – especially the 20-something ones.May 6, 2012 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #958808TheGoqParticipant
Patri i think the question is weather Popa is a Rebbetzin.May 6, 2012 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #958809
the young ones usually didnt allow it. We had one teacher in her 30s – when someone spoke to her in third person i.e. did reb. r. say ______ or _______ – she would say Yes, whoever that is… or s/t to that effect… or she would simply protest and say my name is not reb.May 6, 2012 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #958810
OOM: In my school, teachers are NOT automatically called rebbetzin, even if their husbands are rabbis, which is kinda nice. I have 5 female Limudei Kodesh teachers and two are rebbetzins— one is school-mandated (besides for her husband actually being a rabbi) and the other one’s husband is a rabbi also but either way she just IS a rebbetzin. You know what I mean?May 6, 2012 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #958811
real israeli: Same by us. Maybe we went to the same school. 🙂
writersoul: So we had like a dozen limudei kodesh teachers each year and a lot of them were married to rabbonim and it’s just hard to keep track, y’know? Better safe than sorry… 😛May 6, 2012 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #958812
Oh scratch that— I just remembered another “rebbetzin” I’ve got this year. So make that three on three.
Then again, she’s the type of teacher worth forgetting….May 6, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm #958813
:/May 7, 2012 7:26 am at 7:26 am #958814haifagirlParticipant
. . . just like an older single can’t be considered an adult until he gets married. [edited for grammar and punctuation]
So true.May 7, 2012 7:27 am at 7:27 am #958815haifagirlParticipant
. . . just like an older single can’t be considered an adult until he gets married. [edited for grammar and punctuation]
So true.May 7, 2012 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #958816ZeesKiteParticipant
haifagirl: My spelling checker points out when some word is repeated…May 7, 2012 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #958817apushatayidParticipant
Is the husband of a rebbetzin a rabbi?May 7, 2012 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #958818
A Rebbetzin is the First Lady of the shul; it’s an honorary title like Rebbetzin Obama.May 7, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #958819
Is the husband of a rebbetzin a rabbi? “
Gotta be.May 7, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #958820
A Rebbetzin is the First Lady of the shul”
Not every rebbetzin IS a shul’s first lady. The Rosh Yeshivah’s wife is also Rebbetzin. Any woman becomes Rebbetzin by virtue of her marriage to a Rabbi. Are all Rebbetzins deserving of the title as we conjure it up in our minds? Maybe not, but it is what they are.May 8, 2012 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #958821
“Any woman becomes Rebbetzin by virtue of her marriage to a Rabbi.”
In fact, while all Rebbetzins are or have been married to Rabbis, most Rabbis are not married to Rebbetzins.May 8, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #958822
Cherrybim, you are SO right. It takes a lot for a woman to deserve the title as an honor. But whether or not qualified, the wife of a King is still the Queen, no? (The husband of a Queen, though, is not necessarily the King).May 9, 2012 2:46 pm at 2:46 pm #958823
While the wife of a King is a Queen, most Rabbis are not Kings.May 9, 2012 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #958824
“While the wife of a King is a Queen, most Rabbis are not Kings. “
Nope, but all their wives are still rebbetzins, even when they don’t call themselves that.May 9, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm #958825
IM TOO COOL FOR YOU!!!(SRRY ITS THE TRUTH)May 10, 2012 5:14 am at 5:14 am #958826
I believe that the title Rebbetzin means that someone is the wife of a Rabbi, regardless of what type of person they are, just as the title queen is someone who is the wife of a king, regardless of what type the person is. However, just as someone with royal blood understands that there are certain behaviors standard in this position, so too, someon with the title Rebbetzin needs to understand that there are certain behaviors that should go together with the title. Unfortunately, just as you cannot remove the title queen from a queen who had a nervous breakdown and is not behaving properly, you cannot remove the title Reb. from the wife of a Rabbi who is simply not acting like the picture of a Reb. that majority of the world seems to have conjured in their minds. Abusing the system and calling too many people Reb. is what is taking away the proper meaning of the word, and the need to conduct oneself accordingly, in my opinion.May 10, 2012 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #958827
There are thousands of Rabbis who have various functions outside the pulpit, such as: they teach in religious schools; supervise kashrus; work for frum organizations and agencies; work for kiruv; are shochtim or mohelim; have smicha but hold regular jobs; etc. Their wives are not Rebbetzins.May 10, 2012 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #958828
If a man has smicha he is a Rabbi. If he is a Rabbi the proper title for his wife is RebbetzinMay 10, 2012 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #958829Feif UnParticipant
My Rav’s wife gets upset if she is called a Rebbetzin. They both make it clear to everyone that she is not a Rebbetzin – she’s another woman in the shul whose husband just happens to be the Rabbi.May 10, 2012 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #958830shmoelMember
My accountant gets upset if I call him an accountant. 🙂May 10, 2012 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm #958831
Personally, I feel that I know many women who are rebbetzins, even if their husbands never received semicha.
Unless you’ve got another title, I’ll stick with that.
Isha chashuva, maybe?February 8, 2013 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #958833
Have you ever heard of a shul hiring an unmarried rabbi? No serious shul will accept a rabbi without a rebbetzin, and most mandate that the rebbetzin be present throughout the interviewing process. She is not just the “first lady” of the shul. She has an integral role in the spiritual leadership of the shul community.February 8, 2013 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #958835avhabenParticipant
WB JF02! It’s been a veeeery looong time. And happy belated 22nd birthday! (I’m exactly one week late, but you can’t blame me considering your 3.5 year absence.)
P.S. We got a new English enforcer during your extended leave. Her name is Haifagirl. She took off quite commendably where you left off.February 8, 2013 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #958836squeakParticipant
Happy belated birthday.February 8, 2013 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #958837locaMember
You just gotta hang around a yeshivish guy who wants to get your attention but isnt sure how to address you.
“Uuuuuh excuse me.. Rebbetzin?”February 8, 2013 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #958838🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
I actually know a case where it went the other way around… The wife is a famous mechaneches, so people called her rebbetzin. Being as it can’t be Mr. & Rebbetzin, it became Rabbi & Rebbetzin. He does not fill any position that would give him the title.February 8, 2013 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #958839Daniel RosenMember
Of course being the wife of a Rabbi does not make you rebbetzin. Generally only the wife of a public acting Rov of a community and whatnot is called rebetzin and her husband is called Rabbi. Like we have just seen in another post, calling people “Rabbi” is up to the individual person and many forms of smicha are not accepted/respected by everyone.February 8, 2013 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #958840
Wow, I’m impressed that you remembered! It was actually my 23rd birthday, not 22nd. But well done anyway, and thank you 🙂February 8, 2013 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #958841zahavasdadParticipant
I think Rebitzen Jungreis is more famous than her late husband (he was a Rabbi.February 9, 2013 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #958842takahmamashParticipant
How do you address the Rebetzin? “Mrs.?” “Rebetzin?”
We used to go to one shule where I used “Mrs.,” and I guess she was fine with that. (At least, she never corrected me or asked me to change.)
We also attended a different shule; when I used “Mrs.” she asked me to call her by her first name. I wasn’t comfortable doing that, and I told her, but she insisted. (The Rebetzins in both cases were younger than me.)February 9, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #958843
Rebbetzin Jungreis is indeed more well-known than her husband. I heard her speak in Baltimore a few months ago and her book The Committed Life, given to me as a high school graduation gift, is one of the most inspirational and uplifting books I have ever read.
Speaking of names and titles, Rebbetzin Jungreis married a third cousin and never had to change her name.February 10, 2013 3:00 am at 3:00 am #958844147Participant
Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School (YCT) offers a Semicha program for women who aspire to become a Rebbetzen.June 13, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am #958845VogueMember
MAHARAT… Only among the most controversial things going on at the moment…
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.