JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: The Reverend vs. Rabbi #general

Nick <tulse04-news@...>

"Evertjan." <exjxw.hannivoort@...> wrote:

"Rev", >from Rebbe, is not a corruption of Rav., why should it?

I don't deny that many people genuinely thought and think that "rev" is >from
"reverend", but that does not mean it is the correct origin of the abbreviation.

Folk etymology can have a long history.
See in which
there is a tribute to the Rev David M Isaacs of Liverpool Hebrew Congregation. At
the end of the page it describes him as the Reverend D M Isaacs.

Shall we leave it that in the Jewish context it is short for Reverend. Although I
didn't think that there was any different in the non-Jewish context.

Incidentally I now might have found the last word on the subject by Rabbi Ephraim
Mirvis of Finchley Syngagogue in London.

In Rabbi Mirvis, who I used to know
slightly, says that "Reverend" is a most acceptable term for spiritual leader who
is not an "ordained Rabbi".

He writes that this word means "worthy of deep respect or reverence". It is used
within Jewish circles as a title for spiritual leaders who are not ordained

He says that the original usage of the term is in the King James Version's
translation of Psalm 111:9 Kadosh Venora Shemo - Holy and Reverend is His Name. He
adds that this translation was adopted in many Jewish editions of the Bible.

My own gloss on the Rev/Rav usage is that there is a custom to use the term Rav
for marking with respect a very learned or pious person. This does not mean that
someone has got semicha but it is a mark of respect to normally an elderly member
of the community. So, in that sense, Rav and Rev/Reverend have exactly the same
meaning - but not origin.

Nick Landau
London, UK
COHNREICH (Anklam, Germany Krajenka, Poland) ATLAS (Wielkie Oczy (near
Lvov/Lemberg), Poland)
WECHSLER(Schwabach, Germany) KOHN (Wallerstein and Kleinerdlingen,Germany)
LANDAU/FREDKIN(Gomel, Mogilev, Belarus)

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