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Rav (Heb. ) is the Hebrew word for rabbi. For a more nuanced discussion see semicha. The term is also frequently used by Orthodox Jews to refer to one's own rabbi.

In the Talmud, the title Rav generally precedes the names of Babylonian Amoraim, whereas the title Rabbi generally precedes the names of ordained scholars in Palestine (whether Tannaim or Amoraim).Adin Steinsaltz, The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition; A Reference Guide (New York: Random House, 1989), p. 139.

In the Talmud, Rav or Rab (used alone) is a common name for Abba Arika, the first Amora, who established the great yeshiva at Sura, which, using the Mishnah as text, led to the compilation of the Talmud.

In some Hasidic groups, the Rebbe is also referred to as the rav; in other circles, the rav is distinct from the rebbe and is the highest dayan (judge) of the group.

The term rav is also a generic term for a teacher or a personal spiritual guide. For example, the Talmud tells us that "Joshua ben Perachyah said: Provide for yourself a teacher (rav)."

The Rav

Nachmanides will sometimes refer to Maimonides as HaRav or The Rav.

From the 16th century, Rav or the Rav generally referred to Rabbi Obadiah ben Abraham, Rav being an acronym for the Hebrew for Rabbi Obadiah of Bartenura (רעב) which could also be pronounced "Rav".

More recently, as a sign of great respect, some rabbis are simply called the Rav even outside of their personal followings. Note...
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