REBBE (Hebrew : רבי) /ˈrɛbɛ/ or /ˈrɛbi/ , is a
Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word rabbi , which means "master,
teacher, or mentor". Like the title "rabbi" it refers to teachers of
In common parlance of modern times, the term "The Rebbe" is often used specifically by Hasidim to refer to the leader of their Hasidic movement.
* 1 Terminology and origin * 2 Usage * 3 Hasidism
* 4 The hasidic rebbe
* 4.1 Relationship of hasidim to their rebbe
* 4.2 Functions of a hasidic rebbe
* 4.2.1 Kvitlach * 4.2.2 Tish and farbrengen
* 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
TERMINOLOGY AND ORIGIN
The Yiddish term rebbe comes from the Hebrew word rabbi, meaning "My Master", which is the way a student would address a master of Torah. It was an honorific originally given to those who had Smicha in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era. Since vowels were not written at the time, it is impossible to know historically whether it was pronounced rah-bee (/ˈrɑːbi/ ) or r-bee (/ˈrɛbi/ ). The English word rabbi (/ˈræbaɪ/ ) comes directly from this form. In Yiddish, the word became reb-eh (/ˈrɛbɛ/ )—now commonly spelled rebbe (/ˈrɛbə/ —or just reb (/ˈrɛb/ ). The word master רב rav literally means "great one".
The Sages of the
The Sages of the Talmud known as the Amoraim , from the 3rd, 4th and early 5th centuries, those born in the Land of Israel , are called Rabbi (/ˈræbi/ ); those born in the diaspora are known by the title Rav (/ˈrɑːv/ ).
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Today, rebbe is used in the following ways:
* Rabbi, a teacher of
An ordinary communal rabbi, or "rebbe" in Yiddish, is sometimes
distinct from a "
Rav " (/ˈræv/ , also pronounced "Rov" /ˈrɒv/ by
As a rule, among hasidim, rebbe (/ˈrɛbə/ ) is referred to in
Hebrew as "Admor" (pl. admorim), an abbreviation for Hebrew "Adoneinu
Moreinu V'Rabeinu", meaning "our Master, our Teacher, and our Rabbi",
which is now the modern Hebrew word in
Hasidim use the term "rebbe" (/ˈrɛbə/ ) also in a more elevated manner, to denote someone that they perceive not only as the religious leader or nasi of their congregation, but as their spiritual adviser and mentor. "The Rebbe" or "My Rebbe" in this sense is a rav or rabbi whose views and advice are accepted not only on issues of religious law and practice, but in all arenas of life, including political and social issues. Sometimes a hasid has a rebbe as his spiritual guide and an additional rav for rulings on issues of halakha.
Hasidim use the concept of a (non-hasidic) rebbe in the simple sense of rabbi, as the Yiddish-German equivalent to the Hebrew word רַבִּי rabi . For example: "I will ask my rebbe (/ˈrɛbə/ ), rabbi (/ˈræbaɪ/ ) Ploni (so-and-so), for advice about this personal matter."
THE HASIDIC REBBE
A hasidic rebbe (/ˈrɛbɛ/ ) is generally taken to mean a great leader of a Hasidic dynasty , also referred to as "Grand Rabbi" in English or an ADMOR, a Hebrew acronym for Adoneinu-MOreinu-veRabbeinu ("our lord/master, teacher, and rabbi"). Outside of Hasidic circles the term "Grand Rabbi" has been used to refer to a rabbi with a higher spiritual status. The practice became widespread in America in the early 1900s when Hasidic rebbes began to emigrate to the United States and was derived from the German Grossrabbiner.
Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov , the founder of Hasidism, is regarded by Hasidim as the first Hasidic rebbe. During his lifetime he was referred to mainly as "The holy" rather than as "Rebbe", and his disciples were "magidim " or "preachers", such as the Magid of Chernobyl or the Magid of Mezritsh .
The first "rebbe" to be known as such was the Baal Shem Tov's grandson, Rabbi Boruch of Mezhibozh , who was referred to as "The Rebbe" during his lifetime. After him, those who rose to positions of leadership and their successors began to be called rebbe. The title gradually came to suggest a higher spiritual status.
Each Hasidic group refers to its leader as "the rebbe".
RELATIONSHIP OF HASIDIM TO THEIR REBBE
However, a hasidic rebbe is generally said to be a righteous person, called a "tzaddik ". Furthermore, a rebbe is said to be able to affect divine providence, and a rebbe is said to be able to "see the future", or at least have strong insight into the life and trials of another.
As a result, hasidim in some hasidic circles seek their rebbe's
advice for a variety of concerns: spiritual, physical, and even
business concerns. Furthermore, many people seek the blessing (bracha
) of a rebbe (and a hasid will specifically seek the blessing of his
own rebbe) for anything from minor (and all the more so major)
physical troubles, to grand spiritual concerns. Many famous and common
stories of a rebbe's intervention involve women who successfully seek
a rebbe's blessing for fertility so that they can conceive after
having been barren for many years.
Kabbalah describes an
In some movements the hasidim believe that their rebbe is the "tzadik hador" (tzaddik of the generation ) and would regard any thought that detracts from his perfection and holiness as heresy. Other sects lessen this idealization to some degree or another. Since many rebbes are sons-in-law or students of other rebbes, it makes sense that they would view themselves as subordinate to those other rebbes. Nonetheless, their hasidim remain loyal to them because of their special loyalty, a family connection, or a belief that a specific tzaddik or Nasi HaDor (although others might have greater spiritual stature) connects best with one's soul. For example, the Kosover Rebbe makes yearly pilgrimages to the Tosher Rebbe. Nonetheless, his followers remain very loyal to him.
Unlike rabbis or non-hasidic rebbes in other Jewish movements,
Judaism considers a 'hasidic rebbe' to be a conduit between
Hasidic Followers Of A Rebbe
Given a rebbe's physical awareness of God, and the rebbe's
transcendent perception of Godliness, many hasidim take special care
to observe the specific and sometimes minute practices of their rebbe.
Even things that seem mundane may nonetheless be seen by hasidim as
incredibly significant. For example, Lubavitcher hasidim frequently
shape their fedoras to match the way that the Lubavitcher
FUNCTIONS OF A HASIDIC REBBE
This section IS IN A LIST FORMAT THAT MAY BE BETTER PRESENTED USING PROSE . You can help by converting this section to prose, if appropriate . Editing help is available. (September 2011)
There are some functions which are exclusively the domain of hasidic rebbes:
* Reading kvitlach * Running a tish or leading a farbrengen
Others are not exclusive to Hasidic rebbes, but are often an important part of their role:
* Participating in family celebrations of the hasidim, such as
weddings and brisim (circumcision ceremony)
* Performing mitzvos, etc. in the presence of their hasidim, such as
Chanuka lights and drawing water with which to bake
* Leading the prayers on Shabbos, Holy Days, and other special
* Delivering learned or inspirational discourses (in
Main article: kvitel
A rebbe has times when Hasidim (and other petitioners) may come for a private audience. A kvitel ( Yiddish for "note", plural kvitlach) is a note with the name of the petitioner and a short request for which the rebbe is asked to pray. The formula in which a person's name is written is one's own Hebrew name, the son/daughter of one's mother's Hebrew name, such as Shimon ben Rivkah (Simeon the son of Rebecca). Hasidim believe that rebbes read supernaturally "between the lines" of a kvitel, and in every Hasidic movement there are numerous anecdotes relating how the rebbe saw things that were not written in the kvitel. In most Hasidic groups, the kvitel is written by the rebbe's gabbai (secretary), however sometimes the petitioner writes it on his own. Usually, but with some exceptions, a pidyon (redemption) of cash is customarily handed to the rebbe under the kvitel, but this is not obligatory. This is considered to be the conduit through which the blessing is given, and a redemption for the soul of the petitioner. ("A gift makes its receiver glad" is given as an explanation: a blessing only comes from a joyous heart.) It is also customary to tip the gabbai, although this too is not obligatory.
Tish And Farbrengen
A rebbe conducts a tish ( Yiddish : פֿירט טיש: feert tish, literally, "to run table") or a farbrengen—a communal festive meal with highly mystical overtones—on Shabbat and other occasions. At a tish, the rebbe distributes shirayim (lit. remnants) to the Hasidim seated at or gathered round the table. When a gathering similar to a tish is led by a rabbi who is not a rebbe, it can be referred to as a botte (esp. amongst groups from Romania) or sheves achim.
* ^ A B C D Oxford Dictionary of English, Merriam-Webster's
* ^ A B C D Heilman, Samuel. "The
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach
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