Friday, April 16, 2010

Rabbati; an earlier proposed title for female rabbis.

In light of the recent and ongoing conversation within Orthodoxy about ordaining females as rabbis, one of the most important and initial things to consider is what a female rabbi should be called. Some suggested Rabbah. Here's a quarter-century old suggestion for Rabbati in an article called 'How About Rabbati?' by Werner Weinberg in 'Journal of Reform Judaism,' Summer 1986. Ashkenazim might try Rabbosi on.

Interesting points: Weinberg discusses the etymology of the term rabbi and it's English pronunciation. He likewise suggests that Rabbati be vocalized (in English) with the same i pronunciation, although he admits that it doesn't sound very nice. To me that sounds like a lazy call for zimmun.

Incidentally, I recently noticed, with pleasure, that in the de Sola Pool siddur רבי is vocalized the following way in Pirke Avos, רִבִּי. However, for Rabbi Yehuda Ha-nassi it is רַבִּי! See this post for Revi Ya'akov Emden's position which justifies רַבִּי for Rabbenu Ha-kadosh alone.

In the 18th century Rabbi Chaim Yoseph David Azulai famously termed them Rabbanit.

1 comment:

  1. How about Tanna'it? This woman was given this title:




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