Re: Could a Rabbi be a liquor seller, too? #galicia

דוד נ.א.

Russ Maurer wrote:
On the tomb of a woman who died in Jodlowa (Galicia) in 1902, her father was
denoted a Rabbi with the abbreviation mem-vav-hay (morenu ha-rav; "our teacher,
the Rabbi"). But in the contemporaneous civil death record, there was no
mention of her father being a Rabbi. Rather, his occupation was given as
"propinator", one licensed to dispense liquor, i.e., a tap-room operator. I
find this involvment in the liquor business surprising, but maybe I shouldn't;
Rabbis had to put bread on the table, too, and maybe this was a way to support
himself. Has anyone else come across examples of Rabbis with side employment,
and more specifically in the liquor business?
Well, I do not have specific knowledge about this occupation, but
generally about the occupations of rabbis:
In most cases, the rabbi's salary >from the community was insufficient
(and sometimes does not exist), and therefore, it was customary for
the rabbi to sell certain products, and he would receive exclusivity
for this business in his town, so that the community Could allow him
to make a decent living - without paying him.

David Nesher

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