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  • in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995589

    Torah613613Torah: “I need to know the following: Is it permissible to call someone who is not a Rabbi, “Rabbi”?

    Of course it is. There are many people in my yeshiva without official smicha who are called Rabbi. In fact, there is no official smicha today- period. So from an halachic standpoint it’s a non-issue.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995587

    Torah613613Torah: “Is there an actual issur, that you are NOT ALLOWED to call someone without smicha, Rabbi? I have always erred on the side of respect and call everyone, Rabbi, Dr, etc. Let them correct me. But is there a halachic issue in calling someone Rabbi, for darchei shalom?”

    I think you can easily tell where someone is holding after learning with them for even a few min. There was once someone in my shule for instance who had smicha he received from the 1970’s. I noticed some people called him Rabbi in my shule so I asked him a question on a gemera I was learning hoping he could help. He said he was not able to make a laining on ANY gemera apart from one daf in kiddushin that he had learned over and over again and then went on to recite it from memory. In short, he wasn’t really able to read Aramaic well. He said he doesn’t know why people call him Rabbi but he doesn’t stop them either.

    On the other hand, there is a guy from Lakewood who comes to visit during the chagim who does not have smicha but he is the unofficial Rov of the shule whenever he comes. Everyone goes to him to ask questions- even the official Rabbi.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995584

    ari-free: “See Sanhedrin 5b. There are 3 classes of semicha. Yoreh Yoreh (can rule on issur/heter), Yadin Yadin (can rule on monetary law) and Yatir Bechoros Yatir (can deal with korbonos issues)”

    The smicha the gemerah was referring has not existed since the 5th century.

    goldtoes68: “You still would call a Catholic Priest, father or a protestant minister, Reverend.”

    You are really using that to make your point after reading this thread? I suppose you would refer to Jesus as Jesus C. as well because that is a form of respect and is the way he is called in those circles. Did the gemerah refer to a typical sadducee as “Rabbi Sadducee so and so”?

    There are many halachic issues with calling a priest father. There was even just a book published “Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition”.

    I don’t know if you are being sarcastic or not but thank you for making that point though.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995581

    thegra: ” Yasher Koach to chafetzchaim613 (I cannot agree with you more regarding everything you said).”

    Thanks, I appreciate that.

    Veltz Meshugener:

    “It goes without saying that all the people who did get smicha are equally accomplished in Torah and all have the same occupation as spiritual authorities….Relatedly, if you follow the rules carefully, you will never make the tragic error of calling someone “rabbi” who didn’t deserve it.”

    Haha exactly.

    Charles: “I made a donation of $4000 and got smicha within 6 months; from someone who was also a Medical Doctor, btw.”

    I am not surprised (well I am a little) though my own experiences in this area is what inspired me to start this thread in the first place.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995577

    Sam2: “What sources in Chazal are against being a Rabbi? That’s just silly.” I just gave you one.

    sam4321: I agree with you. I am just against people demanding that everyone calls them Rabbi because they have some sort of smicha and people against not calling others Rabbi because they do not have an official smicha.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995573

    Below is one example. I think it’s mamish what we have today.

    “These underdeveloped students who have not gathered much Torah knowledge, seek to gain prestige in the eyes of the common people and the inhabitants of their city [by] jumping to sit at the head of all questions of law and halachic judgements in Israel. They spread division, destroy the world, extinguish the light of Torah, and wreak havoc in the vinyard of the God. In his wisdom, Solomon alluded to them [as follows, (Song of Songs 2:15)]: “Take for us foxes, little foxes that spoil the vinyards, [our vinyards are blooming.]” Rambam Mishneh Torah Hilchos Talmud Torah 5-4

    ??? ???????? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ??????? ??????? ???? ???? ??????? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????? ??? ???????? ?? ????? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ???????? ??? ?’ ????? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????:

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995572

    OneDayAtAtime: I disagree. I bet you 10 to 1 that the person being honored at his yeshiva dinner knows more Torah and has more yiras Hashem than some guy who got a two year smicha. I recently got a call from my roshe yeshiva asking if I wanted to sponsor a certain “Rabbi” of the yeshiva to be honored. This person does not have smicha (I believe after talking with him) because he is content to learn Torah lishma and realizes the dangers of attaining official smicha and the harm in can cause (throughout chazal you see source after source discouraging going into rabbanus unless you have to). He rather sit and learn lishma. He sits and learns in yeshva everyday- all day. When you walk in to the yeshva, there is rarely a time you won’t find him in his seat being osek in Torah before you get there. He also gives shiurim to younger talmidim.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995569

    oomis: “I understand the point you are making”

    Thank you, it would have been a privilege to meet your father. He seems like a great man.

    yaff80: I think the emphasis goes on what the person does for the tzibur and how he should be addressed by others in his position. Perhaps the students should call their teacher Rebbe instead of Rabbi but I don’t see what the problem is if they call him Rabbi as this would certainly enhance the kavod of Torah.

    Kavod haTorah is increased when people call others Rabbi who put their title into practice through teaching, chinuch or by being the Rabbi of a shule. Calling people Rabbi only because they took some questionable smicha program 20 years ago and do not benefit the tzibur through their past learning is not kavod haTorah. On the other hand, I suppose if they got smicha from the Mir or a similar yeshiva this would be another story all together.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995564

    “Technically, anyone with smicha can confer smicha on anyone else. IOW, if a 21 year old has smicha, he can give smicha to his 18 year old friend.”

    Yea, I actually know a 21 year old guy who has smicha who gave it to an 18 year old friend who gave it to his 13 year old brother who sold it online for $4,920 so he could buy that video game he always wanted.

    Ok I made that up except for people selling smicha online and in tiny yeshivos in the tri state area for $4,920. That part is true.

    in reply to: Saving A Pets Life – How Much Should I Spend? #926925

    My father recently spent over $2000 for surgery for his pet dog to cure her of cancer. It has worked and she is still alive, smiling and happy without any other complications. People spend money on vacations and luxury cars all the time. This dog brought him a lot of happiness when he came home every day. I think it is a personal decision. Of equal importance, I think if you purchase an animal there is a responsibility that comes with it and we have to live up to that responsibility.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995557

    oomis: Online smicha currently costs $ 4,920. If some rich kid gets smicha from here who has plenty of money and free time, spends 20 years as a lawyer and doesn’t learn a day after that: your father should be mekaved him while he addresses your father who learns Torah all day as Mr. so and so?

    So according to you the Chafetz Chaim should be not have been called Rabbi but rather Mr. so and so like your father was while the guy who got an easy smicha for $4000 in two years online or from some tiny yeshiva and hasn’t learned in 20 years and works as a lawyer should?

    I’m sorry but I cannot think of anything more ridiculous. In my yeshiva there are people who do not have smicha and are called Rabbis because they actually teach while others have a two year smicha from 50 years ago and haven’t learned in years yet should be called Rabbi?

    You are using examples of what goyim do and how they address each-other to make your point but I do not think that is comparable. Throughout Jewish history in galus (until recently) since the real smicha was lost people with and without “smicha” have been called Rabbi. Reform and Conservative Jews also have “smicha”.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995554

    “then I would say that person should go ahead and get smicha already if they deserve it so much.”

    What if such a person cannot afford smicha or does not have the time to get smicha because he has a job. Shouldn’t people be encouraged not to get smicha unless they absolutely need to for parnasa or because they are a rav of a community? Wouldn’t this cause the title to be more respected?

    ????? ???????? ????? ???.

    ????? ????:

    ???? ?? ??????, ???? ?? ??????, ??? ????? ?????.

    perkey avos 1:10 clearly says it is better not to get smicha if you do not have to. So there goes your argument saying everyone should get smicha. The chafetz chaim and others never got smicha until they had to.

    “More generally, people who get smicha through such places aren’t necessarily doing it so they can get a title they don’t deserve or aggrandize themselves. A lot of people either didn’t have the opportunity to go to a regular yeshivah, because they became BTs at a late age or whatever, and simply take the smicha course as a way to challenge themselves”

    I am sorry but this is the biggest excuse used in the book. You can’t learn Torah lishma unless you are getting smicha? Please.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995553

    DaMoshe: “If someone graduates medical school, you generally call them Doctor, no matter how old they are. It has nothing to do with age, it is a title that you’ve earned by virtue of passing the exams needed.”

    This is just something our society made up. In America, if someone learns Shakespeare or psychology in grad school they are also given the title doctor. You can learn philosophy from mamish kofrim atheists who are over basic mitzvah of “anochi Hashem ELokecha” and get your Ph.D and be called a doctor. The entire thing is so arbitrary. I understand the need to call someone who benefits the klal with an honorific such as a student in a school calling his teacher Rebbi. But to use the title (which is very often non-deserved) simply because you “earned” it is nothing but geiva. The smicha we have today is not comparable to the bnei smicha mentioned in the gemara.

    mdd “Since when did mastery of davka a portion of Y.D. as opposed to anything else make one a Rabbi?”


    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995545

    oomis: “Nevertheless, if they have legitimately earned their smicha, they should be addressed as Rabbi, if that is their wish (some prefer not to be). If someone has NOT earned his smicha through his learning and knowledge of Torah, then that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.”

    Who determines legitimate? There are people who because of FINANCIAL reasons or a lack of time, social skills etc. that simply cannot get smicha. Though this has nothing to do with a lack of Torah knowledge. On the other hand, there could be someone who is a baal geiva and attains smicha where he knows if you have the money or connections you will get it.

    Yes, I do think it is wrong for people who are not employed as a Rabbi to use the title Rabbi. If you are not using the title to benefit the klal than the only other reason you are using it is because your’re a baal geiva and that is not legitimate. “Earning it” by learning is not a reason to call oneself “Rabbi” every time you go to a chasna or get a letter in the mail.

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995539

    The Litvishe Kiryas Yoelite:

    Do you think it is wrong or irresponsible for money-strapped yeshivos to lower their standards to such a low level for smicha in order to get more students and money?

    in reply to: Calling people with questionable smicha Rabbi #995535

    So why do you think someone would join a small yeshiva that basically hands out smicha and where they would be one of the biggest guys there apposed to a bigger yeshiva where the person would be a small “no body” but surrounded by real talmeidei chachamim.

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