Reb (Yiddish)

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Reb (Yiddish: רב‎, /ˈrɛb/) is a Yiddish or Hebrew honorific traditionally used for Orthodox Jewish men. It is not a rabbinic title.[1] In writing it is abbreviated as ר׳. On a gravestone, ב'ר is an abbreviation for ben/bat reb meaning "son/daughter of the worthy..."[1] Reb may also be a short form of Rebbe. It is generally only used for married men, sometimes an equivalent of "Mr."

A never-married man[2] is referred to as Habachur[3][4]


The title was adopted by Orthodox Jews at the time of the schism with the Karaites, as a sign of loyalty to Rabbinic Judaism.[5]


When addressing someone directly, Reb is usually used with the first name only ("May I help you, Reb Chaim?"). In other circumstances, it can be used with either the first name or the full name ("This is Reb Chaim Jacobs."; "Would you please help Reb Chaim?"). In formal written address, it is usually used along with the full name.


  1. ^ a b Reading Hebrew Tombstones,
  2. ^ male, above Bar-Mitzvah
  3. ^ "Petirah of Habachur Reuvein ... following an illness. He was 23 years old". The Lakewood Scoop. April 27, 2019.
  4. ^ The prefix Ha means "the"
  5. ^ Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Halikhot Shlomo 1:370-373;
    Salo Wittmayer Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, vol. 5 p. 283