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Reb (Yiddish:רעֶבּ) is a Yiddish honorific traditionally used for Orthodox Jewish men. It is not a rabbinic title; it is the equivalent of the English "mister". In writing it is abbreviated as 'ר.


The title was adopted by Orthodox Jews at the time of the schism with the Karaites, as a sign of loyalty to Rabbinic Judaism.[1]


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. It is never used with the surname alone.[2]

When a man's name is unknown, he is often addressed as Reb Yid ("Mr Jew").

In the musical Fiddler on the Roof, when Tevye dreams of becoming rich and respected, he imagines everyone calling him "Reb Tevye".


  1. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Halikhot Shlomo 1:370-373;
    Salo Wittmayer Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, vol. 5 p. 283
  2. The Chosen (Chaim Potok) gets this wrong, constantly referring to Danny's father as "Reb Saunders" instead of "Reb Yitzchok" or (in English) "Rabbi Saunders".
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Reb. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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