Katzav and Yoffie… Just What We Didn’t Need

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6 Responses

  1. Yisrael says:

    You are incorrect. President Katzav does refer to them as ‘rabbi’ but he refuses to address them as ‘rav’ when speaking to them in Hebrew. This is according to the Jerusalem Post’s newest interview with him published today. Thus the issue centers around the fact that they want to be referred to as ‘rav’ in Hebrew apparently.


  2. EV says:

    R’ Menken: “It is even more true of “Rabbi,” an English-language term found nowhere in the Talmud, Codes or Commentaries.”

    Actually, “rabbi” is found several times in the Greek texts of the Gospels of the Christian Scriptures, as in Matthew 23:7, “. . . and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” Mark and John also use “rabboni.” Strong’s Greek Lexicon ascribes “rabbi” to Hebrew and “rabboni” to Aramaic.

  3. Amanda Rush says:

    Not to nitpick, but Strong’s lexicons are notoriously incorrect. I wouldn’t trust either the Hebrew or Greek.

  4. Chareidi Leumi says:

    The fact that Rabbi Lau is an Orthodox, indeed charedi

    How is a Rav who says reishit tzmichat geulateinu in his davening considered chareidi??? Is it the hat?

  5. Charles Arian says:

    ” Rabbi Yoffie would undoubtedly have much appreciated Katzav speaking with him in English—and using “Rabbi.””

    This snide comment is uncalled-for and in fact incorrect. I spent quite a bit of time with Rabbi Yoffie in Israel during the years 1986 – 88. His Hebrew is in fact quite fluent and he has been interviewed by Israeli TV in Hebrew many times. It is unfortunately true that many if not most Reform rabbis cannot really speak Hebrew but Rabbi Yoffie can.

    FWIW I am not Reform, I am a Conservative rabbi. When the Rabbinical Assembly has its conventions in Jerusalem (about once every seven years, I think) all debates and deliberations take place in Hebrew.

  6. EV says:

    And your point, Amanda? Is your point that “rabbi” didn’t come from Hebrew?

    The Greek has “rabbi,” spelled rho-alpha-beta-beta-iota. If the Greek isn’t taking this from Hebrew, then from where? John’s Gospel (John 1:38) lets the reader know that the word is foreign by immediately translating the word with a Greek one. John’s Gospel does the same with its one-time use of “rabboni” (John 20:16). How did these words enter Greek if not from Semitic languages?

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