JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: What does Rav mean? #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 6:57 PM -0400 8/10/06, wrote:

Rav means rabbi. Rav Yosef was Rabbi Yosef.
Actually, not quite. Many people nowadays misread the abbreviation
"R" as Rav when in reality it represents the Yiddish word "Reb" --
which, when written out in full, is spelled the same way as "Rav"
which means simply "Mr" and not "Rabbi" at all. The confusion of
"Rav" with "Reb" is very common nowadays because so many Jews are
unfamiliar with Yiddish and unaware that "R" = "Rev" = "Mr."

This would explain why Walter Spector's ancestor was designated on
other stones or documents simply as "Yosef" and not as"Rav Yosef."

An actual rabbi is normally designated with the definite article as
HA-Rav (meaning "The Rabbi" ) So-and- so ben So-and-so.

Judith Romney Wegner

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