HaRav, Rav, Rabbi, Reb

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  • #597743
    kako
    Participant

    Can anybody please clarify what is the generally accepted custom (if any) for using these different titles.

    #794639

    HaRav is formal

    Rav is not formal

    Rabbi is English

    Reb is for anyone

    #794640
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Reb is for anyone

    Not for me. If anyone calls me anything more respectful than “mister,” I protest (until, and if, of course, I earn those other titles).

    The Wolf

    #794641
    Pac / Man
    Member

    Why do you protest Reb Wolf?

    #794642

    Just because you don’t like to be called Reb doesn’t mean that you are not supposed to have that honorific.

    #794643
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Why do you protest Reb Wolf?

    I think it is rudeness in the extreme to take someone’s request not to do something and *immediately* throw it back in their face.

    The Wolf

    #794644
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Just because you don’t like to be called Reb doesn’t mean that you are not supposed to have that honorific.

    If the honorific has some specific meaning (i.e. some accomplishment) then please define it so that I can determine if I’ve earned it or not.

    If the honorific is meaningless, then I don’t want it anyway.

    The Wolf

    #794645
    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Does that mean I can be Rebbetzin?

    #794646
    bombmaniac
    Participant

    lighten up dude

    #794647
    Pac / Man
    Member

    You never objected to being called Mr. Wolf. Is it only the Jewish stuff that you object to?

    #794648

    Well it does have specific meaning. It means you’re a Jewish male. Whether or not you want that honor, it is your honor nonetheless.

    I am not saying people should call you it against your will. Maybe you also don’t like being called Mr. That’s your prerogative. But you are not less of a Mr. just because you don’t want to be called it and you are not less a Reb just because you don’t want to be called that.

    #794649
    zaidy78
    Participant

    HaRav is the most choshuv. In todays world “Reb” just means that he is a breathing male. Look at Misaskims shiva list EVERYONE is a “Reb”. It used to be that one became “Rabbi” with semicha and “Reb” was for the guy in Lakewood learning full time, but hasn’t become a “Rabbi” yet. Of course, in todays world where most of Lakewood just remains in the geder of “Reb”, so they uped everyone else. Lakewood yungerman, one day after chasunah, “Rabbi”. (Does he know how to paken? NO. Does he know maaros? NO. Does he know anything besides his current sugya (that on even that he is not willing to be tested on)? NO. But he learns, so he is Rabbi.

    But really the word “Rabbi” today, could be reform, conservative, or Lakewood yungerman. Rav is usually a posek of sort, and HaRav is Rosh Yeshiva grade.

    #794650

    he will let us know but i think wolf was probably under the impression that reb was some sort of honorific, indicating a higher status, and not merely the equivalent of mr

    #794651
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    You never objected to being called Mr. Wolf. Is it only the Jewish stuff that you object to?

    I object to rudeness. I don’t think it’s too much trouble to address me as I want to be addressed and to not have people *purposely* address me as I don’t want to be addressed.

    The Wolf

    #794652
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    he will let us know but i think wolf was probably under the impression that reb was some sort of honorific, indicating a higher status, and not merely the equivalent of mr

    I’m not only under the impression, but it is my belief. It has the same root as “Rav” which indicates greatness. When I earn it, I will be more than willing to allow myself to be called by that (or any other) honorific.

    You may choose to disagree, but I cannot help but look at the root of the title and discern from there whether it applies to me or not. The fact that some people may cheapen it by applying it to everyone is not an excuse to further cheapen it.

    The Wolf

    #794653
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I also find it less than amusing how it’s okay to have a sensitivity about what to call one’s wife in public (see the “wife’s name” thread), but if I’m sensitive to what, I, myself am called, I get a “lighten up, dude” and backhanded comments questioning whether or not I disdain things Judaic.

    The Wolf

    #794654
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Whether or not you want that honor, it is your honor nonetheless.

    Even if you’re correct (and I’m not granting that you are), as per the Gemara in the first chapter of Kiddushin, I am 100% allowed to be mochel on that honor (unless I am a king — which I am not).

    The Wolf

    #794655
    oomis
    Participant

    Reb is more in the category of “sir.”

    #794656
    blueprints
    Participant

    Sholom aleichem

    Moyreynu Horav hagaon reb Ze’ev shlita shyichye neyro yo’ir

    P.s. I assume the wolf comes from the Hebrew name ze’ev

    P.s.s. Sorry I couldn’t resist, you seemed so uptight about it

    #794657
    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    When used by native yiddish speakers reb is the equivalent of Mr. When used by anyone else it’s almost always used to convey more respect than Mr. would.

    #794658
    Pac-Man
    Member

    Frum English speakers will refer to any Yid as Reb.

    #794659
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Frum English speakers will refer to any Yid as Reb.

    Then I guess I’m not frum since I don’t refer to people as “Reb…”

    The Wolf

    #794660
    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Pac-Man: That’s not exactly true. Frum English speakers only do that when they are trying to sound more European/Yiddish. They usually do that when trying to be more respectful. I have no idea why, but that’s how it happens.

    #794661
    Pac-Man
    Member

    People who are from the yeshiva world (not the website) refer to other frum yidden as Reb, indiscrimantely.

    #794662
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    People who are from the yeshiva world (not the website) refer to other frum yidden as Reb, indiscrimantely.

    And yet, I know plenty of people in the yeshiva world who have *never* called me “Reb Wolf.” Oh, right… according to you, they’re either not frum or not really “yeshivish.”

    The Wolf

    #794663
    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Joe: not always.

    #794664

    I’m going to say something that probably no one in this coffe room ever heard of. The correct pronunciation of reish-beis-yud is actually ribi (REE-BEE), as in Ribi El’azar, or Ribi Yishma’el. Not rabi, rebbe, etc.

    But don’t worry about it. When you’re learning gemara, it’s not me’akev the learning. 😉

    #794665
    WIY
    Member

    Ovktd

    Why isn’t it with a patch as in Raah-bee?

    #794666
    quark2
    Member

    Those four words are synonyms, which means that they all mean the same thing, and are thus interchangable.

    Rabbi is english.

    Reb can sometimes be used for anyone, in more yeshivish circles, but can also be used for some gdolim, such as Reb Moshe

    #794668
    Moshe Kohn
    Member

    @Itche Srulik -I don’t know. I am a native Yiddish speaker and among peers, if you are not called by your first name with no prefix such as “Reb” this is the surest sign that you are not considered a real friend rather a distant acquaintance. Or it means that you’re about to be hit up for a donation.

    @oy vey kids these days -Sorry to break it to you, but there is no one correct pronunciation of ??? in the Gemara. Some Sefardim (not the ones I learnt with in Yeshiva) may pronounce it as “Reebee”, but Ashkenazim (Chassidim and Misnagdim alike) pronounce it as “Rebbe” or “Rabbi”(segol or pasach under the reish and chirik under the beis). If you find a Talmud Bavli with nekudos from the times of the Amoraim (with a chirik under the reish) maybe I’ll agree with your post.

    #794669
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I noticed this thread got bumped.

    I agree with Wolf 100%. Furthermore, IMHO, Mr. is a much more Chashuv term then Reb. or even Rabbi (as in Rabbi Sally P.). If you feel the need to call me something Jewish, call me Gavra or Gever.

    When someone calls me Rabbi or Reb, I ask them not to do so.

    #794670
    apushatayid
    Participant

    I was told (I never saw it written anywhere) that R’ Moshe z’l when referring to shomrei torah umitzvos clergy, always used the term Rav or HaRav, and when talking about reform and conservative clergy always used the title rabbi.

    #794674

    mk: If you look in Ashkenazi siddurim from the early 18th century and earlier, they say “ribi.” It isn’t until the mid-18th century when it suddenly changes to “rabi.”

    #794675
    on the ball
    Participant

    The Wolf: All languages including Hebrew and certainly Yiddish, evolve. There are numerous examples of this in Shas with nobody as I recall insisting that the incumbent terms are sacrosanct. If it has become common practice to refer to all frum men as Reb, then that has become part of the language. Of course you have the right to insist on not being called Reb, but you may as well insist on not being called Mr and demand on being called Colonel – but that will not change the reality that it is not a reflection of the true state of the language in your era and circles.

    #794676

    My usual response to being called Rabbi is, “Don’t call me rabbi, I work for a living!”

    #794677
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Ray,

    Your comment “My usual response to being called Rabbi is, “Don’t call me rabbi, I work for a living!” , is rather disresprectful. I’ve seen the Rov of your shul. He sems to work pretty hard. But you may be right. For what he is paid, it is probably lshem shomayim

    #794678
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Recently heard.

    There is a Yeshiva (probably more than just this one) when calling up people for an aliyah is makpid to only use the title “Harav” for those who truly are Rabbonim. Everyone else is just “reb”. (Before you ask, no, I have no idea who or how they determine who is worthy of the title). Well, one shabbos a guest davens in the yeshiva. They see on his tallis bag that his name is written Harav Avrohom Schwartz (ficticious, except the Harav portion). The gabbai was in a quandry. On the one hand, the yeshiva had its policy of using the title Harav for those they deem worthy of such a title, on the other hand, this man refers to himself that way, as evidenced by his tallis bag. The gabbai, I guess has a sense of humor and he called him up, Yaamod, Reb Harav Avrohom ben….

    #794679

    lol on the joke

    and Ray,

    Now believe me you, Rabbis work a great deal harder than you for a living, and don’t even ask how hard it is for kollel yingaleit. :-O

    but anyways, with me, If someone calls me Mr. ____ , i’m like “nah, Mr. ___ is my father” 😉

    and dont any of you guys call me Mr Eyebrows

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