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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1881, from Yiddish, from Hebrew rabbi (see rabbi).


n. (context Judaism English) The spiritual leader of a Chassidic Jewish community.


Rebbe or , is a Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word rabbi, which means "master, teacher, or mentor". Like the title "rabbi" it refers to teachers of Torah or leaders of Jewry.

In common parlance of modern times, the term "The Rebbe" is often used specifically by Hasidim to refer to the leader of their Hasidic movement.

Rebbe (disambiguation)

Rebbe can refer to:

Jewish uses

  • a Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word Rabbi
  • a common title of respect; see Reb (Yiddish)
  • the Hebrew title in the Talmud for Rabbi Judah haNasi, redactor of the Mishnah, see Rebbi
  • a Jewish leadership Yiddish title, especially used in referring to a "Grand Rabbi" spiritual leader of a Hasidic dynasty, see Rebbe
    • a widely recognised designation for the 20th century Hasidic leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, due to his public prominence, called "The Rebbe"


  • a best selling biography of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, see Rebbe

Other uses

  • an American guitarist, see Tyler Rebbe

Category:Titles Category:Orthodox rabbinic roles and titles Category:Hebrew words and phrases

Usage examples of "rebbe".

Comtesse or no, I am trained to be subservient to authority, and the Rebbe had it in abundance.

Nonetheless, I put it aside to meet the Rebbe, donning a gown of brown worsted which I used to wear travelling, and a thick woolen shawl.

The Rebbe plucked a few strands of beard from his bottom lip, and gave me his cunning look.

The Rebbe allowed me no mistakes, and halted me repeatedly during this last reading to correct some minor point until both of us were irritable with it.

Severio Stregazza, a summons came from the Rebbe to meet with him for another session.

And when I was not doing any of these things, I met with the Rebbe Nahum ben Isaac and bent my mind to the difficult tasks he set me, droning Habiru verses for hour upon hour, while he chewed his beard and glowered at me.

I dared broach the subject with the Rebbe when he sent for me a day later.

But I thought of the Rebbe, and the depth of grief in his eyes, and I did not doubt the truth of my response.

So said the most ancient of Habiru myths, the ones the Rebbe pretended did not exist.

The chantor broke off his song and stared, and their Rebbe stood open-mouthed at his lectern.

Having talked to Rebbe Leibnitz and the guards in the watch room and having seen the Kegenwald camp, Rhion understood this.

Rhion, Sara, and Rebbe Leibnitz crossed the yard together and slipped under the fence and so into the woods.

Tom inquired, closing the door once more and maneuvering the lock back into a semblance of its former appearance, while Rhion and Rebbe Leibnitz transferred their belongings from one vehicle to the other.

In the car behind her the Professor and Rebbe Leibnitz were conferring quietly, heads together.

Rhion and Rebbe Leibnitz had gotten quietly out of the car and were standing behind him in the deep, dew-soaked grass that clogged the lane.