April 14, 2023 8:05 am at 8:05 am #2180957takahmamashParticipant
It seems every story I read on YWN describes every Rav as a Gaon: “HaRav HaGaon / HaGaon HaRav.” How all of a sudden did we merit so many Gaonim? If a title is overused, it loses its meaning. Suddenly every rav in every shule is a Gaon?April 14, 2023 9:27 am at 9:27 am #2180993akupermaParticipant
No more than any man you meet is a propertied member of the gentry and thereby deserving the title Mister, Monsieur or Herr. Almost all cultures have courtesy titles (more obvious in England where they still use titles for nobility, but most countries kept the title for respectable commoners even when they abolished fancier titles for nobility). Note that all person can use the title for “respectable commoners” even if they wouldn’t not have qualified (based on property ownership) in the past. To the extent we use “Ha-Rav Ha-Gaon” as a courtesy title for rabbanim is indicative that we still keep the concept of an aristocracy, albeit one based on Torah rather than wealth or military skill.April 14, 2023 9:27 am at 9:27 am #2180994
Is every plumber who got smicha somewhere a rabbi? When calling to unclog the toilet, must we refer to him as Rabbi Finkelstein?April 14, 2023 9:29 am at 9:29 am #2180996RightJewParticipant
Takahma mash: There is a name for this modern form of idolatry.
Worship of rabbis instead of worship of Hashem is called “GADOLATRY”.April 14, 2023 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm #2181003
Is every poster a participant?April 14, 2023 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #2181007lakewhutParticipant
Is a YU Rav, Harav Hagaon?April 14, 2023 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #2181015Yabia OmerParticipant
There’s an ad for a Torah initiative which includes several Rabbonim. One of the people featured is a major Marbitz Torah, who I don’t think is an actual rov, and they use the honorific Harav HaGaon. Granted this man has major zchusim and is increasing Torah learning, but really? Gaon?April 14, 2023 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #2181019
Since when does Yated, Hamodia or YWN get to decide what anyone’s rabbinic title is? They’re just journalists; nothing more.April 14, 2023 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #2181032
There was a story where one was called Gaon because he did not learn Rashi. One was called Gaon, who knew 60 meseches as the gematria.April 14, 2023 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #2181076
“When calling to unclog the toilet, must we refer to him as Rabbi Finkelstein?”
Only if he gives a lumdisher peshat of the sewage flow.April 15, 2023 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #2181103Ari KnoblerParticipant
Rav Moshe Feinstein זצ”ל would address his rabbinical querents as “הרב הגאון”. This was his custom for whatever reason. One פוסק who did not engage in such generous language was R’ Seligman Baer (Isaac Dov ha-Levi) Bamberger, i.e., the Würzburger Rav זצ”ל. If you look at his halachic responsa, he addresses his querents plainly as רבי or רב.
Has it gotten out of hand? Perhaps. In Sefer Mishlei, we read זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה, but now we have taken it on ourselves to expand the expression to זצוק”ל or even זצוקללה”ה. Good enough for Shelomo ha-Melech, not good enough for us.
Not only the Chasidim but the Litvaks as well sometimes took this took an extreme. There was a commentary on מס’ קידושין my מגיד שיעור learned with us back in post-high school bes medrash. The author had been a pupil of R’ Chaim Brisker זצ”ל. In the introduction, he wrote a more-than-ten-line blandishment without even mentioning his sainted teacher’s actual name.April 15, 2023 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #2181104amiricanyeshivishParticipant
If every yungerman is Rabbi than a Rav needs to be Harav Hagoen. The Rosh Yeshivas are now Hagoen Hagodol. And the highest in the hierchy are Sar Hatorah.April 15, 2023 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #2181105IshpurimParticipant
There is Sinas chinam and ahavas chinam and geonus chinam. Halevay כל עם השם נביאיםApril 15, 2023 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm #2181199RedlegParticipant
In Lite, “Gaon” (often pronounced “Gain” in Litvishe Yiddish) was an occupational title used for Roshei Yeshiva as in “HaRav, HaGaon” When my father, A”H, use to come to yeshiva he usually referred to Rav Ruderman, ZTL, as der “Gain”.April 15, 2023 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #2181206GadolhadorahParticipant
You can never have too many gadolim.April 16, 2023 1:44 am at 1:44 am #2181211
In Lite, “Gaon”, is a Goan Lite like a Bud Lite?April 16, 2023 1:45 am at 1:45 am #2181210
Rav baruch ber wrote when quoting rav chaim brisker, “ve’amar kadosh yisroel” in the middle of a piece, not just as an introductory praise… This is how he looked at the gadol hador.
As for MO deciding that praising gedolim or listening to them blindly, as the torah says to do “lo sasur min hadavar…” Even if they tell you left is right and right is left…, is somehow linked to idolatry… It only shows how far their own ideology has taken them away from basic yiddishkeit.
And an MO response to lo sasur is that it’s only halachikally binding when it’s a beis din smuchim… the obvious answe to this, is that according to them, it’s not idolatry when it’s a beis din, but it is when it’s the gedolei hador?
They just have a problem with authority. And should you think that it’s only rabbinic authority they don’t like… Google “struggling with God modern orthodoxy” and you’ll see it’s authority of the Almighty that they aren’t fans of either.April 16, 2023 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #2181305anonymous JewParticipant
Avira, one day you’ll explain why your generic negative comments about all MO are not lashon harah or motze shem rah.April 16, 2023 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #2181328Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
Anonymous, Chofetz Chaim has a letter published around elections to Polish Seim, where he says how bad lashon hara about masses and groups are. I thought – maybe he is just complaining about other groups attacking Aguda ticket that he favored, but no he says that even when a tzadik is attacking a rasha, Hashem will favor and defend the attacked. so, anyone mindlessly attacking another group just ensures Divine support for them.April 16, 2023 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #2181337
Anon, I’m explaining why MO ideology is wrong. They are accusing the yeshivos of idolatry. Those claims are apikorsus, and it doesn’t matter who says them – there are people with black hats who think this way, and there are people in kipos serugos who kiss the hand of chachamim and don’t make an investment without consulting their chacham – it’s not about people per se, it’s about ideology. And there’s no such thing as lashon hora on an ideology.April 16, 2023 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #2181352SQUARE_ROOTParticipant
The word “Gaon” is certainly over-used as a title for Rabbis.
When the word “Gaon” is over-used as a title for Rabbis, then those Rabbis who are not referred to as “gaon” are being indirectly demoted.
If my memory is correct, the Steipler Rav requested that he NOT be referred to as “the Steipler Gaon”.
If my memory is correct, the practice of over-using “gaon” as a title for Rabbis started with Chareidim, and only Chareidi rabbis are referred to as “gaon”.
YU / Modern Orthodox Rabbis are never referred to as “gaon”, no matter how much they know.April 16, 2023 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #2181384GadolhadorahParticipant
I suspect most rabbonim truly deserving of these honorifics would prefer to be referenced simply by their names w/o all the adjectives. For some reason, we can reference a gadol hador by his first name (aka R’ Moshe, R’ Yolish etc) or by a sefer he has authored and everyone know who we are addressing without prefixes Gadol hador, saar hatorah, hagoen, ha’rav etc.).April 16, 2023 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #2181402
Square, many talmidim of rabbi Hershel Shechter will call him a gaon. Rabbi Shechter, undoubtedly uses the term for rav Moshe and rabbi yoshe ber soloveitchik.
I’ve seen articles in tradition which use the word, too. I don’t think it’s a hard and fast rule.April 16, 2023 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #2181392lakewhutParticipant
UJM Yated is in the business of propagandaApril 16, 2023 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #2181394
“YU / Modern Orthodox Rabbis are never referred to as “gaon”, no matter how much they know.“
Maybe because they know that spell check (autocorrect) would change it to goonApril 16, 2023 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #2181397
SR: OO rabbis are also never referred to as Gaon, regardless of how much they know.April 16, 2023 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #2181399Dr. EParticipant
Is there a difference between “HaRav HaGaon” and “HaGaon HaRav”? What would most Rabbonim prefer to be referred to in print or when being called up to a Chuppah?April 17, 2023 11:29 am at 11:29 am #2181557
Ashkenazim have this thing that everyone is a rav. Everyone gets. “R.” Before their name. Ever been invited to a wedding? Somehow always the children of rav this and rav that. When everyone is a rav a real rav must be something else.April 17, 2023 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #2181587
By ashkenazim, not Rav but Reb as I call myself. Everyone married has this title and with semicha, Moreinu Harav and higher with Moreh Moreinu Harav.April 17, 2023 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #2181621n0mesorahParticipant
I don’t get what your saying. Hashkofas HaTorah does not lend ‘authority’ to gedolei yisroel. Their statements stand on their merit as an individual. In many areas specific gedolim stand out. The yeshivos at large follow their elder R”Y, even if the RSHKBHG disagrees.
On second thought, maybe you mean specifically mean ‘dogma’ and not the general idea of ‘authority’. I hear that. What generally differentiates regular orthodoxies from MO, is their extreme hesitancy around everything dogmatic.
PS On the main topic. Exhibit A Igros Hagrid. Exhibit B Sichos Hagrid.April 17, 2023 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #2181626
What’s the idea, why does being married make you a reb – on the same level as someone with semicha?April 17, 2023 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #2181628DaMosheParticipant
Aveirah, as far as Lo Sassur and Rashi’s comment on left/right:
The Riva says the left/right mentioned in the pasuk refers to Rabbonim telling us not to do a mitzvah such as Shofar on Shabbos, or Arba Minim on Shabbos. It only refers to a mitzvah that they are telling us NOT to do.
The Yerushalmi says in Horios that the pasuk means only if they say right is right and left is left. If they say otherwise, you do not listen.
There are many shitos against Rashi. Indeed, both Rambam and Ramban do not pasken like Rashi in this regard. There is a Sifre which Rashi bases it on, but again, many question the Sifre, and there are Gemoros in both bavli and Yerushalmi that say otherwise. R’ Ovadia Yosef reconciles the two views as I mentioned above – you have to confront the Rav if you think he erred. Until you confront him, you do not listen. The Yad HaMelech states that if you listen when you think he erred just because you think you have to listen, you are required to bring a korbon chatas. Only after confronting the Rav with the opposing view, and he stands by what he said, are you required to listen.April 17, 2023 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #2181629n0mesorahParticipant
If I recall, the Yated does not use the title Gaon at all.April 17, 2023 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #2181683
Even with the eidah chareidis?April 17, 2023 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #2181741April 17, 2023 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #2181770
Somone once Al Sharpton where his church is, so he answered he is like of osesh oeish, he runs around preaching without a churchApril 17, 2023 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #2181778
And no one said you can’t ask questions to gedolim; emunas chachamim does not mean to not question, as you said, it means that you listen even after you question, and even if you’re not satisfied with the answer. This is what we do with chazal, rishonim, achronim..we ask kushyos on everyone, but we don’t say that they’re wrong because of those kushyos.
And how exactly do the Rambam and ramban not “pasken” like rashi? He’s not discussing the halachos of toleh al beis din; this is a complete misunderstanding of the issue.April 17, 2023 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #2181777
User, the rishonim write how the frum jews used to call each other Rabbi to distinguish themselves from karaim… So the practice continued.
Damoshe, there’s no “machlokes” – you’re mixing up the yotzros.
We’re not discussing relying on a heter which you think is wrong. Talui al beis din patur is a sugya in horayos, and if you’re fit to know when a psak is wrong, then the halacha is that you can’t apply talui al b”d.
None of that has to do with lo sasur. Check out the chinuch on the mitzvah; it’s about emunas chachamim. We listen to the teachings of chachamim and don’t think that we know better. We don’t argue with people bigger than us, etc..
As for political matters, it is another invention of MO that claim that it’s only a new phenomenon. Josephus, no fan of chachamim, writes (quoted in rav avigdor millers hashkofa seforim) that all political offices were sanctioned by the rabanim.April 17, 2023 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #2181788
The riva means that “even” in such cases..kal vechomer when it’s not against a pasuk and only sevara etcApril 17, 2023 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm #2181809
Can you name me a source that says to call people Reb? Would love to see it insideApril 18, 2023 1:27 am at 1:27 am #2181836
I was brought up that it is not respectful to call the elderly by their first name.April 18, 2023 8:41 am at 8:41 am #2181879
Reb E, it’s not just elderly people…i never call anyone in their 50s by their first name unless they explicitly tell me toApril 18, 2023 8:47 am at 8:47 am #2181940
Reb (Yiddish: רב, /ˈrɛb/) is a Yiddish or Hebrew honorific traditionally used for Orthodox Jewish men. It is not a rabbinic title. In writing it is abbreviated as ר׳. On a gravestone, ב’ר is an abbreviation for ben/bat reb meaning “son/daughter of the worthy…” Reb may also be a short form of Rebbe. It is generally only used for married men, sometimes an equivalent of “Mr.”
A never-married man is referred to as Habachur.April 18, 2023 10:20 am at 10:20 am #2181950
It is age irrelevant, in my opinion. Every (married) Yid should be referred to as Reb Yankel (or whatever his name is). And every bachor should be referred to as Habachor Shimon (or whatever his name is).April 19, 2023 7:57 am at 7:57 am #2182190Avi KParticipant
The Gaonim never heard of Rasho o rTosafot.April 19, 2023 11:45 am at 11:45 am #2182226Yabia OmerParticipant
The doros are inversely proportional with the use of titles.
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