Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reb School Question #0

Back when I was in high school, I realized that I wanted to grow up to be a לימודי קודש (Jewish religious studies) teacher. I loved learning, tutoring, and teaching; the interface and back-and-forth flow of information and analysis with others; and the literary beauty and revelatory depth of the texts.

Everyone told me, "You want to teach Tanakh? Gemara? etc.? You need to be a rabbi!"

So for almost four years of college, I assumed that I would go to rabbinical school afterwards. My senior year, about halfway through the year, I called up RIETS, and after a somewhat frustrating conversation with a confused office worker, convinced them to mail me an application because no, I couldn't just come over to the office and pick one up because no, I don't go to Yeshiva University, so no, i don't know where the office is and I'm two hundred miles away in Upstate New York!

Ahem. «cough cough»

Every line of the address on the envelope was misspelled. Which wasn't actually the reason why I decided not to go to rabbinical school (or "reb school" as our Conservative brethren-and-sistren abbreviate it), but it made a funny story to say so.

I decided that I wasn't interested in being a rabbi. I want to teach Tanakh. Sure, other things too, but mostly Tanakh. I want to be a Tanakh teacher. To be a Tanakh teacher, you don't need to be an expert on the laws of milk and meat; you don't need to be able to adjudicate nida cases; and you don't need to be able to explain the permissibility or impermissibility of using water heated by a dud shemesh on Shabbos. I mean, sure, all those things are important for living a self-aware and self-confident halakhic Jewish lifestyle. But they weren't necessary immediately for my career.

So instead of going to RIETS for four years, I went to a two-year teacher training program in Israel. I learned Tanakh and Gemara, Parshanut and Pedagogy, and came back to NYC ready to teach.

Just one problem.

Many of the schools I tried to get a job at barely glanced at my resume... one reason being, I wasn't a rabbi. Back at the end of college and in Israel, I thought it would be cool to fight the system, prove to the world that you don't need to be a rav to be a teacher. It turned out doing that was a bit harder than I expected.

So over the last few years of teaching, I came to the conclusion that I probably should go get semikha some time soon. Not just because it would help my career, but especially because I know that there are whole realms of Jewish knowledge out there that, as I said above, are necessary for living a self-aware halakhic life, and I just don't know. In some cases, I have vague recollections of general principles and terms from Halakha class in high school, but none of the details. So even though it's not practical for my career as a teacher — since, after all, even if you're teaching Halakha you're not going to be going into such depth of detail — it's still something that I came to the conclusion is important to do.

So I looked a little at RIETS, I looked a little at YCT, I conducted survey-interviews of friends and acquaintances who are now at or who recently graduated from one or the other of those two schools. I have time — I'll still be working this coming school year (iy"H), so I've got a while to fill out applications, talk to administrators and rebbeim, and sit in on classes and shiurs — and I got really into the whole exploration process...

...But now I'm not so sure.

After attending YCT's semikha ceremony this past Sunday, I'm having trouble imagining myself up on that stage (or whatever the structural-spatial equivalent is over at RIETS). I'm a teacher. I have no interest in pulpits or in pesaq. Channeling the ADD energy of 21st century high school students towards an appreciation of our Jewish Texts and Traditions is enough responsibility for me for one lifetime; I don't think I could take responsibility for answering halakhic shaalas. And I definitely do not feel like rav umanhig beYisra’eil material. Just give me a classroom and a bunch of students who aren't completely hostile. I'll be fine. But I'm not ready to carry the Israelite Nation like a breast-fed baby. There's a very simple reason why I, notwithstanding my anarchistic-egalitarian sensibilities, have a heck of a lot of traditional hierarchical respect for rabbis — and it's not because halakha mandates expressing that respect through action — it's because they do something so immensely important, that I can't imagine doing myself.

So Reb School Question #0 is — before any of the 'where's, 'how's, or 'what's — why? Or why not? Yes? Or no? At least I've still got at least half a year to figure that part out.


Blogger Lipman said...

And I definitely do not feel like rav umanhig beYisra’eil material. Just give me a classroom and a bunch of students

Leaving aside the obvious answer that this mindset might dafke qualify you to be a leader, I understand what you mean. But in fact, "rav umanhig" is a euphemism like "kidushe rabbe".

Strange as it is, a bearer of a "rav umanhig" ("rabbi and leader") smiche is really not the ideal community rabbi, because a community rabbi should be able to answer shaales, i.e. a specific sense of "teaching". This might be different here and there, because the idea of kehilles being autonomous is fading and because the ideas of chareidist hierarchies and MO centralism are getting stronger, but still.

And Yôre-Yôre, Môreine, Hattores Hôroe all literally "just" imply teaching, and yet this is what prepares for leading a community.

If you encounter the problem you describe with job interviews as a teacher, you should try and get smiche, whatever is written in it, as long as it's kosher. Approach one of your rabbis and explain the situation, including that your current focus is not in-depth haloche, and that you don't need anything in the text that pretends something that isn't true. The texts of smiches vary very much anyway.

With the rav hammasmich, you and the paper being honest, nobody needs to ever have heard of the rav hammasmich, unless you're going to apply for the pulpit of a shul that belongs to an organisation (OU, YI…), I suppose. Their franchise contracts might demand RCA licenced ordinators. [ 8~)

6/14/2007 4:04 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Leaving aside the obvious answer that this mindset might dafke qualify you to be a leader

I'm also not a literary cliché ;-)

Could i just be overly impressed with ceremonial drama? I understand what you mean by rav umanhig being a euphemism compared to the other 'levels' of semikha, but when i was at the semikha ceremony and i saw each musmakh go up and get formally ordinated (nice word :-P) yoreh yoreh... ...rav umanhig beYisra’eil it all sure sounded like a very big deal, as if the YY was leading up to the RuM; after all, literally it makes sense that way, even if the terms aren't used like that.

One of the rabbis i interviewed (who i don't know personally, but was referred to) suggested that since the standard semikha curriculum isn't practical career-wise for teachers, i could just go do some quicky 1 or 2 year program. It still sounds like a cop-out. When someone is identified as a rav, i expect a certain level of knowledge from them; i would expect that from myself, too.

6/14/2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous rebelwithacause said...

Well I would strongly encourage you to get a semicha. If semichas were allowed for women I would have done it long time ago. I think the curriculum is pretty interesting. And let's say if you do a short 1-2 year program this does not mean you are less of a rabbi in the end. Whether you finish that 1-2 year program or not, you are going to learn and develop yourself further right? I would expect that not only from a rabbi but from a teacher too.

6/14/2007 10:31 AM  
Anonymous brother datan said...

So you got a job for next year? Congratulations!

6/14/2007 12:37 PM  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Glad to hear that you'll be gainfully employed next year!

Attending rabbinical school would require a big investment, in terms of time, money, and commitment. Consider the matter carefully before making your decision, and don't let anyone rush or force you.

Best of luck.

6/14/2007 2:01 PM  
Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

u might want to consider getting semicha from R' Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg. it's probably most efficient for what you need.

6/14/2007 2:58 PM  
Anonymous debka_notion said...

It's too bad that JTS wouldn't suit you- I think the broadness of the program (i.e. the chance to focus in something other than talmud and rabbinics) would probably suit you better. But it isn't what you want, and it wouldn't be respected in plenty of places that you'd want to be, I'd guess. But it strikes me that at least some (and I mean the some very strongly) of the things that irk me about the program might actually be things you'd find beneficial. Go figure.

6/14/2007 5:46 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


except that i *would* be less of a rabbi in the end; lets say i get semikha for knowing kashrut in one year; i would be quantitatively less of a rabbi than someone who got semikha for knowing kashrut, shabbat, and taharat-hamishpahha.

teachers are fairly busy people; we usually can't leave our work at work, but instead need to bring stuff home to plan, grade, etc. either in college or grad school, i remember someone warning us that "loving to learn is a bad reason to be a teacher, because frequently you end up not having time to learn what you really want to, and spending all your time learning and relearning just what you need to teach".


thanks! it's still in formation, though; need to meet with one of the big people there next week although they've already started discussing takhlis with me.


thanks also :-)
time and commitment, yes.
money, not so much. YCT gives out generous stipends, and RIETS if i remember correctly is free and sometimes even gives you a place to live.


my problem is that *i'm* not most efficient for what i need. i need a structured program to actually force me to do my work on time. also, there's all kinds of practical things the schools can give that answering R' ZN"G's tests doesn't help with, like pastoral counseling training.


i think "wouldn't be respected" is the understatement of the millennium ;-) .
considering that i'm not Conservative (my appropriation of the abbreviation "reb school" notwithstanding), JTS is pretty much out of the question.

6/14/2007 8:19 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Go the full nine yards - yoreh yoreh and yedin yadin. There are enough mediocre smicha-dudes out there all ready, time for one who would actually add something interesting to the pool.

I also think that the rigorous approach would yield a better Steg in the end.

6/14/2007 8:55 PM  
Anonymous debka_notion said...

I was trying to make it clear that I wasn't Actually suggesting JTS- just that it was a almost a pity that that sort of a program, or aspects of that sort of a program, wouldn't be an option. Believe me- I'm quite aware of the issues regarding it, the "lack of respect" and whatnot. All too well- I promise.

6/15/2007 12:18 AM  
Anonymous rebecca m said...

women aren't expected to need smicha to teach tanach

. . .oh right. that's why they get paid less, even when they're more qualified.

(least at my high school)

6/15/2007 12:43 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

the back:

or maybe i should go join that sanhedrin thing with r' even-israel steinsaltz!


if you show me a course listing or curriculum guide we could compare :-)


yeah, that's what i thought; until on another forum, also discussing semikha (but from a different angle), someone pointed out that women have the same problem as non-ordinated men, except without the option in the Orthodox world of breaking through that ceiling.
makes sense, based on the unfortunate state of the world.

6/15/2007 8:15 AM  
Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

it is just a continuation of the age-old pheonomenon of title inflation.

many "rebbes" don't even have "real" have semikhah.

i assume you are looking to teach in a mo school. (anything to the right would not hire a tanakh teacher and to the left probably do not require semikhah.) has it really come to this in mo schools? when i went to school (yof) i had plenty of non-rabbi teachers.

6/15/2007 9:12 AM  
Blogger The Anti-Semite said...


B'Hatzlacha, good luck, and zeit matsliach is all I can tell you. I can't figure out what good advice to give you. You have good arguments in both directions.
I'd say if you can afford it - financially & time wise - why not go for smicha? Who knows when it may come in handy. You may also try fighting the system. Remember - every year you tech is one more year of experience. I suspect that your employers & talimidim are happy with you, even if I can't bring empirical proof to that. So you suffer a bit for a few years - big deal. I left kollel to work when I had two kids already. (I was never a gov't-handout leech). It was tough, but now I live OK. Not great, but more than many people with fancy-schmancy degrees. I believ if you're dedicated, determined & consistent you'll make it - even swimming against the tide. Thing is being able to take the heat & hangin' in there.

6/15/2007 10:37 AM  
Blogger thanbo said...

Sounds like my cousin Ed Greenstein. He was raised Conservative, got interested in religion, but didn't want to be a rabbi, and was interested in Tanach. So he got a PhD in Bible, taught at the Seminary for many years, and now that they've made aliyah, he teaches at Tel Aviv and sometimes at Bar Ilan.

Still, as one of the more religiously knowledgeable relatives, he did my grandfather's funeral - my grandfather had been his clarinet teacher, so we were faced with the rather incongruous sight of Ed playing clarinet at the funeral, as a tribute to my grandfather.

6/15/2007 11:43 AM  
Blogger thanbo said...


You may have had plenty of male non-rabbi teachers, but for Judaic Studies? All the male Judaic Studies teachers above elementary school at Ramaz (late 1970s - early 1980s) were rabbis. The women weren't, of course.

Try wearing a sheitl when you interview as a non-rabbi?

6/15/2007 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, many RW yeshivos automatically issue "Rav Umanhig" semikha if you learned there a few years. I recall tha Rav Moshe Feinsstein was extremely liberal in issuing semikha, especially durign the Vietnam War when it allowed drafft exemption. Once he could not in good conscence certify the candidate's ability and gave him a rabbinic ordination in the Laws of Netilat Yaddaim. This is apparently not an option for you.
I agree that you should get a semikha. Teachign alone may not be what you want to do forever and versatility within the filed of jewish education is a desorable thing. Consider the following options
1.Private selikha from someone you know.
2.Distance learning semikha. A variety are available and they are not onerous.( If you like, I can direct you to several).
3.Just use the title (self-ordination). Very few people will want to know the specifics and if they ask you can answer that it is traditional for Tanakh teachers to use. This is by the way common practice, in Lubavitch, for example. Of course, you would decline to paskin, if asked.

For some reason I coudn't get ot to post, except under anonymous.

Avakesh at

6/15/2007 12:16 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


well, i can only theorize about some MO schools, but one particular one told me that they were looking for someone "with a more traditional yeshiva background". another pseudo-MO school (orthodox-run community school) pointedly asked a colleague of mine at his interview, first question, "so, why don't you have semikha?"

when i was at YoF we had a few male non-rabbi limudey qodesh teachers; however, if i remember correctly, both of them taught exclusively עברית and נביא... and then one of them switched from being Mar Blahblahblah to being Rav Blahblahblah after working on semikha for a few years.


unfortunately, as we know from the women, sometimes even all the degrees and experiene in the world isn't worth as much as that one particular "R" word.


good for him! i've heard from friends in the Conservative world that it can be tough just simply being שומר מצוות if you're not interested in the rabbinate; everyone assumes that's what you want, or they think you belong there even if you make clear that you don't.


thanks for the suggestions!
although there's another term for self-ordination... it's called "origami semikha" (like a mail-order degree, but you sort of fold it yourself)
in some schools, they'll hire male teachers without semikha, but will offer to have them be called 'rabbi' anyway — or even stipulate that they *must* use the title, as a school policy!

6/15/2007 1:11 PM  
Anonymous debka_notion said...

Re Steg's comment to Thanbo:
One reason I was rather set against rab school (with an a, not an e) was because I wanted to prove that there Are real, shomrei mitzvot Jews in the non-Orthodox world who aren't rabbis. Somehow, the rabbinate, or at least the educational program for it, sucked me in anyways though.

JTS curriculum can be found here:

6/15/2007 1:42 PM  
Blogger thanbo said...

debka: my cousin, an observant-conservative guy, went looking for a wife (via JDate). Found one. Who could he find that was also observant-conservative? A rabbi. So he's now a rebbetzin (or rebbetzer, I think he calls himself).

6/15/2007 5:39 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


if you have a problem with "rEb school", take it up with the son of the International Director of USY :-P


your rebbetzer cousin definitely needs to start a blog! ;-)

6/17/2007 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you heard of Origami Semicha?

6/17/2007 4:28 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Actually, Anonymous, if you had been paying attention you would have noticed that i used that term in one of my comments above :-P

And there are also other responses over there at lookjed, with a different subject line; some of them may not have yet been archived into the web system, but searching for 'origami' may suffice.

6/17/2007 7:23 AM  
Anonymous debka_notion said...

I have no problem with the term reb school, except that everyone I know around JTS says rab school- so I'm not sure you can really say that you're borrowing the term from us. You could say that you're borrowing the term from the International Director of USY though...

Sorry- just being a purist, of some absurd sort.

I'm glad your cousin found someone. As for the lack of observant, non-rabbinically related folks in the Conservative world: it's a problem, but well, it isn't enough to make me give up my convictions.

6/17/2007 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steg--Have you thought about getting a PhD in Talmud? Obviously that "academic" lens has its own pluses and minuses...and might determine who you end up teaching.

On the other hand, sometimes you just have to go to school to get the credential, and in that sense rabbinical school isn't any different than getting a degree in public health or law. For instance, there are plenty of masters' level public health people who could run research studies, and yet in order to be made a Principal Investigator on a grant-funded study, you usually need a PhD. In which case, I would say, go do it. There are some rabbis who deserve respect, but there are plenty who don't, and generally it's because of who they are (in terms of mentschlikhkeit) and not because of what they know...


6/17/2007 7:15 PM  
Anonymous hotshot2000 said...

I want to second the notion of trying to pursue a PhD or DHL in Bible while teaching. It might be financially difficult and/or time-consuming, but perhaps the title Doctor would compensate?

Also, for what purpose do you feel you need the pastoral counseling side of things, particularly given how congregationally-focused it is?

As an aside, one of the many things for which I unsuccessfully advocated while at a certain institution was the introduction of tracks, i.e., the ability to concentrate in an area of one's interest (tanakh, talmud, halakha, mahshava, all equally legitimate) while requiring basic compentency tests in the other areas. Apparently allowing students to reach their full potential in an area most deeply of interest to them was secondary to fulfilling some ill-defined notion of "what a rabbi needs to know." Very disappointing.

6/17/2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Anonymous Ruth:

Not such a fan of Talmud... I do Tanakh, mostly. I'll teach Talmud, too, but i don't like it enough to go back into Academia for it :-P


Interesting suggestion about the PhD/DHL (had to look that acronym up); no idea if it would compensate or not, but it wouldn't help with the other purpose of going to reb school, which is Knowing Halakha.

I've talked to YCT musmakhim who are in education and they've said that the pastoral counseling program there turns out to be great not only for dealing with a shul's congregants, but also students, parents, etc. in a school.

6/18/2007 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm old skool JTS (early '90s), and was only an undergrad (thank God), but it was always Reb School (by the Reb students as well).

6/18/2007 11:47 AM  
Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...


"You may have had plenty of male non-rabbi teachers, but for Judaic Studies?"

yes, but as steg pointed out, not for gemara or halakhah. mars and geverets taught tanakh. i don't know if you consider j hist/j phil/heb. lit in the rubric of limude kodesh, but we had mars for that as well.


"and then one of them switched from being Mar Blahblahblah to being Rav Blahblahblah after working on semikha for a few years."

the principals of the elementary and high schools were formally misters. someone who we used to call by his first name became a rabbi when he became the principal of a new school.

maybe i am being "paranoid" about it, but it's funny how yof in recent years (at least since i attended 80-92) has adopted some "rw" trappings. one example is how there is now a separate principal and rosh yeshivah. who are they kidding? flatbush can't be kashered.

6/19/2007 1:34 AM  
Blogger Yehu said...

"sometimes even all the degrees and experiene in the world isn't worth as much as that one particular "R" word."

Ummm... And that's reason to give up? That was punkt my intention - that there are many obstacles and hardships to overcome. Injustice is just one of many.

Whichever way you chose, you may want to check out places out of the broader NY/NJ area. You could have a bigger impact in a small, warm & usu. more tightly knit community. Memphis, San Antonio, Phoenix... If you have no specific opposition, I'd say that's quite an experience, both on personal & professional levels.

6/19/2007 4:13 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


thanks for backing me up :-)


i'm pretty sure i know exactly who you're talking about. :-) that particular firstname teacher couldn't go by rabbi lastname because that would've been confusing, right?

yehu: (you have too many names, joe) :-P

i would check out places outside the greater NYC area (and did when i was originally coming back from grad school in israel... the school that asked my friend "so, why don't you have semikha?" is more than 4 hours away from NYC), except that i'm the only family member left in the same city as my not-quite-able-to-live-independently mother to help her out when she needs to go to some government bureaucracy appointment or whatnot.

6/19/2007 5:15 PM  
Blogger Yehu said...

yeah, but just one picture... And unique, unmistakeable style! (Besides for being the #1 most humble person in the whole world. OK, maybe just the 2nd.) Actually, I just changed it. That was my previous gilgul. (I went to a tarot Kabbalist today. A man, of course, a man)

Well, I said that: unless there's no specific reason....

6/19/2007 6:17 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


lol. a tarot kabbalist? for real? cool. i've read references to tarot cards being related to qabbalah, but don't know anything about it really. there are some tarot decks that associate the 'trump' (?) cards with hebrew letters; in high school a friend of mine had such a deck, and we used to have fun spelling out each other's names and "interpreting" them based on the symbolism of the cards. my name has the 'devil' card in it! :-O ;-)

6/19/2007 10:59 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

Is this tarot part a development inside Christian cabala? Not that the give-and-take is easy to disentangle.

6/20/2007 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Mar Gavriel said...

Thanbo-- you're Ed Greenstein's cousin? Cool. He's an old friend of my father, from the 1960s. My father and I visited him a few weeks ago, when my father was over here in Jerusalem.

And the proper term is actually "ræb school", not "reb school" or "rab school". It says so in the Shulchen Orech.

6/20/2007 8:50 AM  
Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...


"that particular firstname teacher couldn't go by rabbi lastname because that would've been confusing, right?"

oh. i didn't realize he already had semikhah when he was in yof. i thought he got it later when he left to become a principal.

incidentally, he was one of the nicer teachers (not too many) and in retrospect i think he was a good teacher. (very text based, not like most social studies/history teachers)

6/20/2007 9:46 AM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

the proper term is actually "ræb school"

Schier onzin! Een elk weet dat zo iets een 'rabbynen akademie' moet heten. Een reib school is namelyk een esnoge.

6/20/2007 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Gavi Kaufman said...

A couple of my friends are going for their semicha at REITS - I respect their efforts immensely. I think a semicha must be one that actually teaches you how to pasken halacha from sources (i.e. Tur and Shulchan Aruch).

[If you wish, I would be happy to put you in touch with them - for all I know you may already know them!]

It has been my experience that for most of the Jewish world not connected to and/or conversant in the process of pesak halacha, semicha is just a title that they expect every Jewishly knowledgeable person to have. And they will ask anyone calling themselves "rabbi" halachic questions.

Thank God, some people still remember the gemara of "talmid she’higi'a l’hora’a." (cf. Rambam hilchos talmud torah ch. 5 as well.) In my hometown, I am aware of a case where a certain rabbi (actually a pulpit rabbi in a large synagogue) referred a question to a known local posek...

I have learned a couple of short masechtot in Talmud and can read Tur and Shulchan aruch - while not in any way qualifying me to rule on questions of Jewish law, I still get called "rabbi" sometimes by those not in the know.

Finally, remember that the term "rav" is best translated as "teacher."

6/20/2007 11:54 PM  
Blogger Yehu said...


Not, not for real. The only thing I know about tarot is Rainbow's 'Tarot Woman'. Never saw such a card outside cartoons. But 'ol Donald Trump becomin a kabbalist on the heels of Maddona and Britney Spukes is probably not to be ruled out. Who knows.

What is that deciphering business? Is it some hoax, a-la Beringer's students?

"my name has the 'devil' card in it! :-O ;-)" They say that about Dio, too. Note that his conceit actually could qualify him for that job.

Lipman -

That depends on whether you consider Hassidism a branch of Christianity, or vice versa. The keyword is "vice", though. ;-)

6/21/2007 8:35 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

for those of you who congratulated me on finding a new job for next year, well, y'all spoke too soon. :-P :-/

6/23/2007 11:49 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Gavi Kaufman:

sure, getting me in touch with them would be great!

i feel like some people are saying "the title 'rabbi' doesn't really mean anything any more, so don't worry about it"; while other people are saying "the title 'rabbi' does mean something, so you have to be very serious about it"

6/23/2007 11:51 PM  
Blogger Yehu said...

The back of the hill "Schier onzin! Een elk weet dat zo iets een 'rabbynen akademie'..."

Jek spreek geen Nedlans niet, auf Amsterdam zoud vohn ik niet sprrek auf unsere mame loshen, bitte danke.

Steg - it just dawned on me that if you actually want to teach Tanakh for pure passionate/idealistic reasons, you can start right here, right now. All you need is a USB microphone, or if you want to be very fancy a digital recorder too, and voila. The audience is here, and I'm pretty much sure I'm not the only one volunteering to be your guinea-pig (far more dignifying term than "goblin sprawl"). So that could be also a test run to see how good you are - minus, of course, the technical/pedagogcial aspects, i.e. usu. most computers are better behaved than 20-odd teenagers. But then again, you could earn the much coveted title of "world's best online Tanach shiur" - may even make it into Guiness! (i.e. the book, not the keg).

6/24/2007 5:32 AM  
Anonymous Hatam Soferet said...

I don't think a doctorate is going to be any kind of substitute. People just have this weird THING about Being A Rabbi.

a) you want to know shit
- and you know you don't need smicha for that, and you know that most smicha courses aren't going to give you that anyway. so ase lekha rav. d00d.
b) you need to be called "rabbi" because no-one believes that you're compentent unless you have smicha
- so get some crappy-assed smicha. "Rabbi" for most people means "Jewishly competent person," which you are, so you might as well get toy smicha to prove it. "Prove" it.

6/26/2007 6:06 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


unfortunately, blogging doesn't pay the bills :-P

Hatam Soferet:

*i* have this weird THING about Being A Rabbi :-P
of course, my THING about Being A Rabbi means that as far as i'm concerned, some 'crappy-assed smicha' isn't going to cut it.

6/29/2007 6:33 PM  
Blogger Yehu said...

Yea,I'm aware of that.

I meant it as a suggestion at the hobby+ level, to sharpen your skills in free time, convey some ideas etc., etc.,

Plus, there is always the -slim, I recognize- chance that someone may spot you and snap you up for his school, if you're good - which, I take the liberty to assume, you indeed are.

BTW, check the last segment of the parshe (boloq) for the unsusal (if memory serves actually the single) frequent use of the root Q-B-H in 3 different meanings. Any connection there? (I think I may have something - if it turns out goods it'll turn up on my site.)

bye now.

7/01/2007 7:36 AM  
Blogger prof said...

vous pouvez poster vos infos sur

7/17/2007 10:11 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


hey dude.
je parle pas français. sorry.

¿español? עברית? العربية؟ 日本語? ייִדיש? gaeilge?

no hablo frenches.

7/17/2007 10:37 AM  
Blogger Yehu said...

Et-tu, Stegus?

Ce n'est pas fair, dis donc!

Oh, shoot, I missed the "pas". OK.
But the Irish is cool. (Or is it Scottish? Or is there no difference? Ask Gary Moore - Begorrah!)

7/18/2007 4:08 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

i think it's Stegos (it is a Greek word, after all) ;-)

yup, Irish. Scottish Gaelic is called Gàidhlig.

And while, if i remember correctly, Gàidhlig-speakers prefer to call their language 'Gaelic' in English, Gaeilge-speakers will kick your butt if you don't call it 'Irish'.

7/20/2007 8:30 AM  

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