In a message dated 5/8/2006 10:49:15 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
< All Rav means is that it was a form of respect. Almost like "Mister" or
"Sir" but with more reverence. It is quite common on tombstones. >
==Actually, the letters Resh-bet on a tombstone, while they can be read as
Rav ("Rabbi"), are properly read as Reb which, as Jackye Sullins correctly
says, is a term of politeness and really equivalent to "mister."
==A "real" rabbi would be referred to as heRav (Heh-resh-bet) meaning "the
Rabbi." Perhaps more common on a tombstone is the abbreviation
Mem-heh-resh-bet for Moreynu heRav meaning "Our teacher, the Rabbi. "
==Extra letters may be tagged on or interspersed for an exalted rabbi, e.g.
Mem-heh-resh-heh-gimmal for "our Rabbi the Gaon (exalted teacher).
Michael Bernet, New York