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Assessment Comment[edit]

Assessment comment: Needs more references and some cleanup. shirulashem (talk) 22:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC)


This article needs appropriate pics. See Commons:Category:Rabbis. – Quadell (talk) 23:02, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Recognition of who is a Jew[edit]

I removed the following from the page:

"Likewise, the North American Reform rabbinate does not accept the offspring of a Jewish mother and Gentile father to be Jewish unless raised unambiguously as Jews."

I am not a member of a reform rabninate, but this just seems to be a mistake - every denomination would consider a person to be born to a Jewish mother as 100% Jewish. If the Reform rabbinate does have such a policy, please provide a citation.Romabers (talk) 02:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Female rabbis[edit]

Is there a title for a female rabbi, like Rabbein maybe? --Uncle Ed (talk) 15:10, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Don't think so. Not in English, anyway. shirulashem (talk) 15:54, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Conflict of interest insertion[edit]

JoeCarter888 (talk · contribs) recently inserted two links here[1] during a spree of adding links to "First Things," a site he edits.[2] This is clearly a conflict of interest and inappropriate use of Wikipedia to promote a website. I removed the links, but Zsero (talk · contribs) finds value in them.[3] I moved the links to the external links section because the references section is reserved for works that were actually used for building the article. My preference is for the links to be removed completely, not only because of their origin but also because they are off topic for this article (Women in Judaism is a separate article). JonHarder talk 21:05, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Israeli Rabbi and abortion[edit]

This Israeli site: [JP] writes the opinion from Chief Rabbinate of Israel about abortion. In the article, we can read:"There is nothing more important than encouraging births - according to the commentaries - and it is our role to raise the awareness on the subject of abortions," Rabbi Yehudah Deri, a member of the Chief Rabbinical Council, said during the committee hearing. "Women must be aware - many women don't know that the significance of abortion is murder. The information that we distributed was a rabbinic ruling that abortion is murder, the halacha sees a fetus as a living person".

The black letters are mine, not from the article itself.Agre22 (talk) 14:28, 13 January 2010 (UTC)agre22


hello. Is there a reason, why this article is so bad? Or is it just lack of interest? If the latter, I may do some editing, eventually, but not, if the substandard quality of the article is the result of POV and worse. With thanks for an explanation, ajnem (talk) 10:42, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I came to this page to look up the term "rabbi" and its qualifications. This page reads much more like a political pamphlet charting the degree to which female and gays have made it into the ranks. Couldn't that be broken out into its own page? Currently, the page is difficult to read because of the interspersed political messaging. Thomas (talk) 16:38, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Section "Honor" is Repeated[edit]

The top-level "Honor" section should be eliminated. The subsection "Honor" should be combined or grouped with section "Authority", IMO. (talk) 06:50, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Rabbis categories for renaming[edit]

Please note the following:

Thank you, IZAK (talk) 09:52, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


How does one pronounce this thing? Is it pronounced like 'rabbit' with the 't' assumed to be silent? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:00, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

No, it is pronounced like "rabbay" (like "I"). What you suggested is close to the pronunciation of "rebbe", but not precisely. Debresser (talk) 10:18, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

The word[edit]

I have undo Wavelength's removal of the word "The" in the header "The word 'rabbi' " because "Word 'rabbi' " sounds unclear to me. In addition please notice that the cited guideline WP:MOS#Article titles doesn't necessarily apply to headers as well. Debresser (talk) 10:50, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Question: Does a Rabbi have to be Married?[edit]

Does being a Rabbi automatically mean that the Rabbi MUST be married, in order to have fulfilled the doctrines of the beliefs? Should he be married BEFORE becoming a Rabbi, otherwise he cannot get married, similar to some christian traditions, or is this irrelevant and they can get married after becoming a Rabbi?

Moreover, shouldn't there be a section mentioning the specific "characteristics" or qualities/qualifications/achievements (i.e. specific knowledge, mastery of scriptures, etc), among other things that someone must have fulfilled before being ordained as Rabbi?

Please send me a personal message as answer to this question as well.

____Ἑλλαιβάριος Ellaivarios____ 00:28, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Any male Jew should have children. This is a Divine commandment (be fruitful and multiply). So he would have be married at least once in his lifetime, since one is not supposed to have children outside marriage. Rabbis are in no aspect different in all of this. In short, in Judaism there is no connection between being a rabbi and one's marital status, in whatever way. Debresser (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
What about gay Rabbis ? Implications of traditional values versus realities of modern liberal situations is worth discussing in the article. Rcbutcher (talk) 15:18, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I think you have the answer in the terms "doctrine" and "commandment" - hard to call yourself a teetotaler and still drink. Contradictions. Like being a Jew and marching in a Nazi rally - something doesn't add up. Dogma just works that way.Thomas (talk) 16:43, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

What do they actually do ?[edit]

This article needs to discuss issue such as what Rabbis actually do : working day, duties, are they fulltime or part-time, paid or not, role in the community etc. How does a Rabbi get appointed to a community or temple ? Does he/she have autonomy or have to stick to a set of guidelines ? Rcbutcher (talk) 15:16, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

This is complicated. To be a rabbi, all you have to do is be made a rabbi by a rabbi. You then don't need to "do" anything. I know several rabbis who don't work as rabbis. One's a psychologist, one's a trader, one's a teacher, two run charities. But they're all rabbis. None of your questions have any validity for them. For those rabbis who do work as rabbis, the answer to every one of your questions would be "that depends". --Dweller (talk) 12:56, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
So what's the point of this article if it all just "depends" ? It needs to discuss this or it's pointless.Rcbutcher (talk) 12:17, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Knowledgeable about rabbis? Female rabbis? Transgender rabbis?[edit]

I am not knowledgeable about Judaism, but I do know that woman aren't allowed to be rabbis.

Can anyone that is knowledgeable about rabbis/Jewish law please comment on the Emily Aviva Kapor wikipedia article? Emily Aviva Kapor is a Jewish transgender male-to-female woman that says she is an ordained rabbi. Is this valid? You can also comment on the talk page Talk:Emily_Aviva_Kapor.

In order to be considered a rabbi in Judaism, what exactly do you have to do?

Articles about Emily Aviva Kapor:

Is Forward a reliable source for wikipedia? Do Jewish people view Forward as a legitimate Jewish magazine?

Thanks! (talk) 07:18, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry that I can't help you much with your overall enquiry but I can tell you that "woman aren't allowed to be rabbis" is not generally true, only in the more orthodox parts of Judaism. See for example Julia Neuberger, Baroness Neuberger who is generally viewed as a very mainstream figure by many - though not all! - in the UK. Hope this helps a little. DBaK (talk) 08:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
The Forward is indeed a legitimate magazine, which WP considers a reliable source.
As for being considered a rabbi, the bottom line is really whether there are people who consider you to be a rabbi, and worth listening to.
Judaism has various different religious movements that hold to different positions on who can or cannot be a rabbi.
Liberal, Reform and Conservative movements in general see no problem with female rabbis, and their rabbinical colleges, such as Hebrew Union College, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Leo Baeck College in London have been training female rabbis and giving them ordination since the 1970s.
Orthodox and Haredi Judaism do not ordain female rabbis. Hardliners in that movement may in some cases not recognise anyone trained by one of the more liberal movements as a 'rabbi', and may even insist that the more liberal movements are not to be considered Judaism at all. Such as position may be seen as essential to defend faith and tradition; or divisive, intolerant and downright rude -- according to religious outlook.
I don't know much about 'trans' rabbis, but the first article you cite says that they have certainly been accepted and ordained by the Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Ms Kapor's religious preferences appear to be a bit more traditionalist than those movements however.
Being a rabbi because you have been blessed as such by someone who is themselves a rabbi is very traditional -- see our article semicha for a good discussion. But how strong that passing-on of authority is seen depends on how people regard you, and the rabbi that blessed you. (It's not a pre-requisite: there are and have been many orthodox rabbis who do not have a semicha, but who nevertheless through the respect for their personal authority enjoy the recognition of their wider religious communities to decide and to judge.) Jheald (talk) 09:46, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I think Jheald gave a very nice overview of all the possible views of the question you asked. Debresser (talk) 22:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Rabbi. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 09:20, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

This article is only about Judaism, not paganism[edit]

I removed this text:

The Kohenet Institute, based at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut, offers a two-year course of study to women who are then ordained as Jewish priestesses.[1][2] “Kohenet" is a feminine variation on “kohen," meaning priest.[2] The Kohenet Institute's training involves earth-based spiritual practices that they believe harken back to pre–rabbinic Judaism; a time when, according to Kohenet’s founders, women took on many more (and much more powerful) spiritual leadership roles than are commonly taken by women today.[2] A Jewish priestess may, according to Kohenet, act as a rabbi, but the two roles are not the same.[1]

That group is not Jewish. They offer prayers to Anat, Asherah, Lilith, and other pagan deities. They are even now are quoted, in an approving light, by pagan or witchcraft groups:

Asa West practices Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft and blends her practice with her Jewish heritage and Secular Buddhism.

They simply are not Jewish in any way, shape or form. RK (talk) 20:13, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Neo-paganism has even been rejected by the Reconstructionist movement. These issues became a public debate in 1986 when the 4 December 1986 issue of the Jewish Advocate in Boston came out with an interview with Jane Litman, then a fourth-year rabbinical student at the RRC, who is quoted as saying that she has been accused of idolatry for making statues of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess, as part of an effort to "dig up women's spiritual practices from the past and see what resonates."

Rosenblatt, a journalist with the Advocate, reported that negative feedback from the original article led to a full-scale inquiry by the faculty of the RRC. The faculty stated unequivocally that it believed the invocation of pagan deities, male or female, to be outside the bounds of Judaism, as it has always been. It similarly considered the use of plastic or pictorial imagery in a devotional context to be regressive rather than progressive in the development of Judaism and saw no place for it within Reconstructionism. - The Jewish Advocate, Boston, 27 March 1987, pp. 66-67.


The Kohenet / Hebrew Priestess groups belongs under Semitic neopaganism[edit]

In the United States, the notion of historical Israelite or Jewish polytheism has been popularized in the 1960s by Raphael Patai in The Hebrew Goddess, focusing on the cult of female goddesses such as the cult of Asherah in the Solomon's Temple. During the 1970s growth of Neopaganism in the United States, a number of minor Canaanite or Israelite oriented groups emerged, mostly containing syncretistic elements from Western esotericism. Forms of Witchcraft religions inspired by the Semitic milieu, such as Jewitchery, may also be enclosed within the Semitic Neopagan movement. These Witchcraft groups are particularly influenced by Jewish feminism, focusing on the goddess cults of the Israelites. The most notable contemporary Levantine Neopagan group is known as Am Ha Aretz (עם הארץ, lit. "People of the Land", a rabbinical term for uneducated and religiously unobservant Jews), "AmHA" for short, based in Israel. ...Beit Asherah ("House of the Goddess Asherah"), was one of the first Jewish Neopagan groups, founded in the early 1990s by Stephanie Fox, Steven Posch, and Magenta Griffiths. Magenta Griffiths is High Priestess of the Beit Asherah coven.. See Semitic neopaganism RK (talk) 20:17, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Why don't you merge this into the section above? It seems to me these two sections are about the same ting. Debresser (talk) 20:43, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Two minor comments on this article[edit]

  • The second sentence gives a literal meaning for "rav" but there is no hint in the lead paragraph of why "rav" is mentioned at all. It should be stated that "rav" is a common Hebrew variant of "rabbi". Zerotalk 08:43, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Seeing someone called "rav" doesn't necessarily mean they are a rabbi. It is also common as a title of respect for any man. For example a death notice for a man in an Israeli newspaper will very often call him "harav". I think I remember this usage being mentioned on Wikipedia but now I can't find it. I think it should be mentioned on this page. Zerotalk 08:43, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Your second statement is simply false. When Other Legends Are Forgotten (talk) 15:56, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Zero. "reb" or even "harav" or a similar abbreviation are often used to like the word "sir" or "mister" in English. Debresser (talk) 18:44, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


What's the relevance of this article discussing them so often (20 mentions I can spot)? It's just muddying the waters. --Dweller (talk) 13:12, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Cantors are not discussed per se. It is always "rabbis and cantors", or variations thereof. Debresser (talk) 21:32, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but why. They're not rabbis, so it's confusing. Strawman: the article wouldn't discuss "rabbis and cohanim". --Dweller (talk) 07:09, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
They go together. I personally don't find it confusing, because it is done over the board. Debresser (talk) 11:09, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Horse and carriage go together too, but why confuse people about which is which? You'd just have a small section in "Horse" that deals with its overlap with "carriage" and vice-versa. --Dweller (talk) 13:07, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Major movements[edit]

@ apart form the fact that you should certainly stop WP:Edit warring, your explanation that the given source lists "three of the four major Jewish religious movements" is your own synthesis of separate things that the source lists, becoming original research on what the major movements are (which is not in turn supported by the source itself). My "ignorance" does not have any bearing on this issue. Please mind Wikipedia policies and guidelines when editing. LjL (talk) 22:07, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Thank you LjL for agreeing with my reverts here. I would like to add that we are facing what I think are IP socks. Debresser (talk) 13:40, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I have not edited this article (as I know zilch about Rabbis), so you can take my objective opinion that the above IP is another sock of a lurking, POV, experienced named account. This analysis seems to confirm it. At least one of these IP has been [hounding] me, too ;). Zezen (talk) 22:21, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Lack of references in article[edit]

Can you please explain this revert Debresser? When I added the refimprove tag to this article earlier, you reverted it, and said in the edit description that "This article has 62 references. If you think any statement is lacking a reference, tag it alone with {{Citation needed}}". While I disagreed, as this article has a number of sections without references, I went ahead and added the citation needed template to the sentences in this article that are unreferenced. You have now reverted a second time, with the explanation that "Don't add tens of templates, add one." There's no policy against having both citation needed tags and refimprove tag. It also shows me your original revert was not in good faith. FuriouslySerene (talk) 14:33, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

Don't throw good faith accusations around before you receive my answer. That is a bad faith assumption!
It is simple. Both things are not correct. 1. You can't tag an article with 47 (!) "Citation needed" templates. That is simply not normal. Especially in an article that already has 62 references. You should only tag statements that really need a source. 2. Adding the "Refimprove" template to an article that already has 62 references is also strange, and unhelpfully unspecific.
What you should do, and what I had in mind from the beginning that you should do (which disproves your bad faith accusation), is to tag those few statements that you think are likely to be contested. I see no reason there should be more than something like 5 of those, since with 62 references, most of those should already have been sourced. Debresser (talk) 21:20, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

I plan to increase the amount of information on the Historical Overview section. In Shaye F.D. Cohen has a chapter in his book From the Maccabees to the Mishnah called “Relationship with Gentiles.” It is filled with rich information about the relationships early rabbis had with the gentile world that I think will be a great addition to this page. If anyone wants to comment on these changes, please let me know on this Talk Page or on my Talk Page.

(Jackfribes123 (talk) 22:59, 5 May 2016 (UTC))

Updating Page Info[edit]

I plan to increase the amount of information on the Historical Overview section. In Shaye F.D. Cohen has a chapter in his book From the Maccabees to the Mishnah called “Relationship with Gentiles.” It is filled with rich information about the relationships early rabbis had with the gentile world that I think will be a great addition to this page. If anyone wants to comment on these changes, please let me know on this Talk Page or on my Talk Page.

(Jackfribes123 (talk) 23:01, 5 May 2016 (UTC))

@Jackfribes123: Great, thank you for your work. GABHello! 23:11, 5 May 2016 (UTC)