Riddle: When is a rabbi not a rabbi?

A: When he "pursued rabbinical studies".

For instance (from numerous sources):

"Rabbi Yaakov Menken, director of the Torah.org Web site, is the author of hundreds of Torah commentaries and holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton University. He pursued rabbinic studies in Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, Bais Medrash Gavoha in Lakewood and Jerusalem, and the Mirrer Yeshiva Jerusalem before founding Project Genesis in 1993."


Anonymous said...

"When is a rabbi not a rabbi?"

It's hard to tell whether you are being humorous, or accusatory, with this question. Are you claiming that Y. Menken is not a rabbi?

Tzvee Zahavy said...

I'm not being picky here. When you have semicha you say that and you name the yeshiva or rabbi who ordained you. you don't say "pursued rabbinic studies". sounds very much like he dropped out of three yeshivas. accordingly i am assuming he is not ordained. that raises the question then of why he calls himself "rabbi".

Anonymous said...

What about Hihrhurim?
He is also a RIETS dropout who now has the nerve to claim to speak as its true continuity and as more authoritative than true RIETS graduates.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

I respect Hirhurim. He does not cross the line into that bizarre world where reality has no place.

As to his semicha, I will ask him.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

Gil Student is a good and credible guy. I asked him:

"I am an Orthodox rabbi" - you say that on your blog. someone has raised a question to me about your semicha. could you clarify where you received semicha and who signed your klaf?

He wrote me as follows and I won't press him further:

Private semicha - rav u-manhig. I'm not sure if I should be saying who signed the klaf because he had political concerns last time I asked. No one particularly famous but he has a fancy title.

Be well,
Gil Sudent

Gil Student said...

has the nerve to claim to speak as its true continuity

Anyone who learned in a yeshiva can speak based on his experience. I think 5 years in YU gives me more than a little background to speak about it and based on it.

and as more authoritative than true RIETS graduates

More authoritative? Says who? Although, for what it's worth, I am in frequent contact with RIETS graduates and occasional contact with RIETS rabbeim.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

what are your credentials? what gives you the right to question?

Anonymous said...

"As to his semicha, I will ask him."

You were considerate enough to do this to R' Student, but not R' Menken?

Tzvee Zahavy said...

Glad you asked. Of course I wrote to Menken. He answered me with sarcasm and insults but no information about his claimed semicha. Try yourself. Write to him at menken@torah.org and if you receive information that you think relevant, feel free to post it.

Anonymous said...

I'll probably get a straight answer from him since I don't have a track record of heckling him.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

knock yourself out - and let us know indeed if you do get a straight answer from Mr. Menken.