If you do not have s'micha, can you advertise yourself as "Rabbi"?

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  • #617082

    There are lots of public speakers and authors of jewish books that go by the title “Rabbi” when they clearly do not have s’micha. Is that yashrus? Is that permitted halachically? They are advertised at asifas and pesach programs as Rabbi too. If women “rabbi”s cannot be called “rabbi” because they do not have s’micha, then why should a lecturer without s’micha be called “Rabbi” instead of something fitting like Rav or Mr. ?

    #1134207

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Nobody has smicha anymore

    #1134208

    Joseph
    Participant
    #1134209

    The Queen
    Participant

    I should think that with a title Rav, it would imply smicha too.

    #1134210

    So @zahavasdad you if you have any shayla I guess you can just pop open google or a sefer and paskin for yourself then

    #1134211

    @joseph I’m not talking about people with questionable smicha. I’m talking about people that tout themselves as Rabbi XXXX on ads for Pesach programs they host. Is that appropriate

    #1134212

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The “Smicha” today is not the real smicha .

    #1134213

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Rav Moshe Z’l used to refer to reform and conservative clergymen as rabbis, those true to mesora he would call a Rav.

    I guess rabbi isnt such a flattering term.

    #1134214

    B1g B0y
    Participant

    Yes.

    A Rebbi of children (Limudei Kodesh) can and should be refferred to as Rabbi even if he does not have smicha – out of respect for the position.

    #1134215

    @B1g B0y what about a lecturer that mainly deals with teenage girls going off the derech

    #1134216

    writersoul
    Member

    Ugh I hate this. So so much.

    #1134217

    apushatayid
    Participant

    If you have a problem with him take it up with him. Don’t be a coward and take pot shots at him anonymously on an anonymous forum. Also, quit while your ahead and you are only at rechilus. This could easily spread to lashon hara and motzi shem ra.

    #1134218

    lebidik yankel
    Participant

    The Chafetz Chaim wrote the Mishna Berura without smicha. Is he a Rabbi?

    #1134219

    apy – well said on my behalf. Had I known where he was going I would’ve deleted it from the start. I guess being called a Rabbi is a worse offense than lashon hora.

    #1134220

    Avi K
    Participant

    Sepahradim use “Rabbi” (pronounced “rabbee”) as a title of honor similar to the Yiddish “Reb”.

    #1134221

    Attention Moderators and Moderator Wannabees- (1) you are jumping to conclusions based on your own assumptions and associations. (2) if you were so concerned with lashon hora, the entire yeshivaworld should be shut down. get off the internet, there is lashon hora and nivul around every corner, and (3) if there is no dialog about issues then we take everything as dogma like the Quaran and Hadith. Sorry, this isn’t Islam. You yourself said the mesora is dead- there’s no smicha, so we have to have dialog. On your logic the Gemara should have deleted every “hahoo gavra” because one of Ravina’s chavrusas might associate the “gavra” with someone they knew “oy lashon hora” ! NO.

    The point is: I want to talk about the title of Rabbi in today’s halachik culture and I appreciated the responses of people like me who are interested in EMES.

    #1134222

    Joseph
    Participant

    It is correct and proper to call someone who teaches Torah a rabbi, irregardless of hantige smicha or lack thereof.

    There you have it in a nutshell.

    #1134223

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Actually I think Sephardim usually use the term Chacham, Its really Chacham Ovadiah Yosef not Rav Ovadiah Yosef

    #1134224

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I’ve said this before, but I’ll mention it again. Whenever someone calls me “Rabbi,” I object. If someone sends mail to my house addressed to “Rabbi…” it doesn’t get opened.

    I believe that a person who does not have semicha should not be addressed as Rabbi. If you give the honorific to people who did not earn it, then the title becomes meaningless.

    That being said, I do recognize that there are some people who should be called Rabbi, even without semicha, ex-officio. A prime example of that would be a grade or high school rebbe who should be addressed by his pupils as “Rabbi…” even if he doesn’t have formal semicha.

    The Wolf

    #1134225

    Thanks, Joseph; that concept sits right with me.

    #1134226

    writersoul
    Member

    Joe: What about women?

    #1134228

    A prime example of that would be a grade or high school rebbe who should be addressed by his pupils as “Rabbi…” even if he doesn’t have formal semicha.

    How should others address him?

    Also, what do you think the appropriate title should be for someone who has semichah, but doesn’t use it in any official capacity?

    #1134229

    Joseph
    Participant

    writersoul: Orthodox men only.

    #1134230

    What about women?

    Call them Rabbits.

    #1134231

    The Queen
    Participant

    “Joe: What about women?”

    The title would be Rebbetzin

    #1134232

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    How should others address him?

    If it’s in the context of him performing his duties, then Rabbi. For example, I wouldn’t have a problem with the parents of pupils calling him “Rabbi…” during PTA or in other school contexts.

    Also, what do you think the appropriate title should be for someone who has semichah, but doesn’t use it in any official capacity?

    Rabbi. They’ve earned it.

    The Wolf

    #1134233

    If it’s in the context of him performing his duties, then Rabbi. For example, I wouldn’t have a problem with the parents of pupils calling him “Rabbi…” during PTA or in other school contexts.

    Sounds like if they met in the grocery, you’d be fine if they called him Mr. I disagree.

    Rabbi. They’ve earned it.

    You do realize that semichah entails a test on certain limited portions of Shulchan Aruch, some of which aren’t very relevant to common shailos, and that the fellow may have forgotten most of what he learned.

    #1134234

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Sounds like if they met in the grocery, you’d be fine if they called him Mr. I disagree.

    The student, no. The parents, maybe.

    You do realize that semichah entails a test on certain limited portions of Shulchan Aruch, some of which aren’t very relevant to common shailos, and that the fellow may have forgotten most of what he learned.

    Yes, I do. However, he doesn’t have to be a practicing rabbi to have the title, much as we still call retired doctors “Dr…”

    Whether or not you should use him to answer your shailos is an entirely different question. I’m not suggesting that everyone with the title should be answering shailos, as you yourself pointed out. But we don’t revoke the title.

    If a Gadol came down with dementia or Alzheimer’s or something terrible of that nature, would you no longer call him “Rav…” even though you know he can’t actually function as one anymore?

    The Wolf

    #1134235

    Does rabbiofberlin have semicha?

    #1134237

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    On your logic the Gemara should have deleted every “hahoo gavra” because one of Ravina’s chavrusas might associate the “gavra” with someone they knew “oy lashon hora” ! NO.

    HOW DID I GET INVOLVED IN THIS????

    #1134238

    πŸ‘‘RebYidd23
    Participant

    “Rebbitzen” as a title is something like a step above Mrs. It is not the female equivalent of “Rabbi”.

    #1134239

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    The Rosh Yeshiva of Toras Moshe in Yerushalyim had (has?) the habit of calling everyone “Rabbi” (as in “My Dear Rabbi”).

    “Everyone gets called Rabbi these days.

    That is why Maran is used, so the editor can separate those who he/she thinks are the real rabbonim from the run of the mill “Rabbi” or “Rav”.

    Now “Gavra” is a title with real Chashivus. As in “Hahu Gavra”. He is mentioned more times in the Gemorah than any other Tanna or Amorah.

    Mr. and Mar (as in “Amar Mar” (second place)) are also acceptable.”

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/rabbinic-titles

    #1134240

    If a Gadol came down with dementia or Alzheimer’s or something terrible of that nature, would you no longer call him “Rav…” even though you know he can’t actually function as one anymore?

    Of course I would, but it’s an inapt comparison.

    Why does someone who spent a couple of years learning certain parts of Yoreh Deah deserve a title of respect, but someone who may have spent more time than that mastering mesechtos in Shas, or other parts of Shulchan Aruch (or even the same parts without a test) not?

    The gadol earned that title with decades of toil, and made himself into a living sefer Torah. Luchos v’shivrei luchos munachin ba’aron.

    #1134241

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Why does someone who spent a couple of years learning certain parts of Yoreh Deah deserve a title of respect, but someone who may have spent more time than that mastering mesechtos in Shas, or other parts of Shulchan Aruch (or even the same parts without a test) not?

    The gadol earned that title with decades of toil, and made himself into a living sefer Torah. Luchos v’shivrei luchos munachin ba’aron.

    I’m willing to concede that someone who is recognized by the general populace as a talmid chacham would be another type of exception that I mentioned. I would not call the Chofetz Chaim “Mr. Kagan” during the time he did not have semicha.

    That being said, I still maintain that anyone who has earned the title should be allowed to keep it, even if they are no longer practicing.

    The Wolf

    #1134242

    oyveygevalt
    Participant

    I personally feel that there is a big difference between someone calling themselves “Rabbi” and others calling him a “Rabbi”. It is certainly generous and respectful to call a Rebby in yeshiva or anyone revered for good middos with the title “Rabbi” even if he has not earned semicha. However, for that person to call himself a “Rabbi” is simply a sheker and gnaivas daas.

    By the way, after shelling out tens of thousands of dollars in tuition I find it troubling that Yeshivos don’t hire people who spent the time, effort and commitment for semicha to teach our children.

    #1134243

    oomis
    Participant

    Nowadays, the mentor of a cop is referred to as “Rabbi” by other cops.

    #1134244

    Joseph
    Participant

    Wolf: What if a smicha earner became frei?

    #1134245

    By the way, after shelling out tens of thousands of dollars in tuition I find it troubling that Yeshivos don’t hire people who spent the time, effort and commitment for semicha to teach our children.

    Yeah, how can someone possibly be a good rebbe if he didn’t learn hilchos melichah?

    No wonder so many kids go OTD.

    #1134246

    Uncle Ben
    Participant

    oyveygevalt: what does proficiency in dinay issur vheter have to do with teaching your’s or anyone’s children?

    #1134247

    Mammele
    Participant

    So all you guys refer to Shlomo Carlebach o”h as Rabbi?

    Which brings me back to this…

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/uncategorized/946/shlomo-carlebach-ordains-female.html

    #1134248

    writersoul
    Member

    Joe, etc: My point wasn’t that women should be called rabbi. My point was only that it is a double standard that even when men and women fulfill the same function, only the man gets to be called by an elevated title he hasn’t truly earned. (And no, as RebYidd said, Rebbetzin doesn’t count.)

    #1134249

    The Queen
    Participant

    writersoul: Why doesn’t rebbetzin count? How about Rebbetzin Kanievsky?

    #1134250

    Joseph
    Participant

    Writersoul: men and women have different roles in life, with different functions and with different standards.

    #1134251

    My point was only that it is a double standard that even when men and women fulfill the same function, only the man gets to be called by an elevated title he hasn’t truly earned.

    If you don’t want women to be called rabbis, how do you propose to fix the double standard? Related, how do you quantify “truly earned”?

    #1134252

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf: What if a smicha earner became frei?

    Good question. When I come across the situation I’ll decide and let you know.

    The Wolf

    #1134253

    Joseph
    Participant

    Wolf: Do you call Jackie Mason, Rabbi Jackie Mason?

    #1134254

    writersoul: that was one of my original points. Spot on. I’m not exactly at the Kosel in a tallis learning gemara with a maharat but you are 100% correct. By the analyses mentioned above: It’s a complete double standard to call a man who teaches halacha or engages crowds with inspirational speeches but does not have smicha “rabbi”, but a woman who teaches halacha or inspires people and does not have smicha cannot be called “rabbi”. If it is a technical term then it should stay a technical term. And if it is simply a title used colloquially then whats the big deal calling chashuva women “rabbi”.??

    #1134255

    Wolf: the classic ordained rabbanim who went off the d were Elisha Ben Abuya and Jesus. They both received the mesora from the top of the chain- indisputable Torah M’sinai at the highest caliber. I’m not sure what people from the kehilla referred to them after. (I’m not talking about when the Gemara recorded them years later- I’m talking about their contemporaries) Maybe they were still called Rabbi by their peers? Who knows

    #1134256

    Avi K
    Participant

    Sheker, neither was ordained. In Pirkei Avot (4:20, the former is mentioned without a title. The latter was either an ordinary mamzer (Sanhedrin 67a – uncensored version) or talmid (ibid 107b) who went OTD. Maybe both. Some historians believe that Yushki was a composite (note that Ben Pandera’s mother was Mary Magdalen[ashaya]).

    #1134259

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf: Do you call Jackie Mason, Rabbi Jackie Mason?

    Good question… I probably wouldn’t, simply because he doesn’t refer to himself that way.

    Wolf: the classic ordained rabbanim who went off the d were Elisha Ben Abuya and Jesus.

    Were either of them actually ordained? I don’t seem to recall ever seeing any evidence of that. Of Jesus, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have any. Of Elisha, is it possible that he became a heretic before ordination (much as Ben Azzai and Ben Zoma went insane/died before ordination)?

    he latter was either an ordinary mamzer

    And where is it written that a mamzer can’t achieve semicha? It’s true he can’t sit in the Sanhedrin, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t acheive semicha.

    The Wolf

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