Libra 20: A Jewish rabbi

T h e w o r d J e wi sh de s c e n d s f r o m t h e A r a m a i c j e hudh ai m e a n i n g “ J e w ” a n d t h e H e b re w Y ' hud ah me a n i n g " J u d a h " a n d literally "celebrated." Judah was the name o f t h e f o u r t h s on of t h e b i b l i c a l p a t r i a r c h J a c o b a n d t he t r i b e d e s c e n d e d f r o m h i m . 1 T h e w o r d r a bb i de sc e n d s f r o m t h e S e m i t i c r o o t r b b wh i c h m e a n s “ t o b e ( c o m e ) m u c h , m a n y, g r e a t . ” 2 I t s p a r o n y m s i n c lu d e

re b ( a t i t l e o f r e sp e c t f o r a ma n ) , re bb e ( a J e w i s h s p i r i t u a l l e a d e r o r
r a b b i , e s p e c i a l l y o f a H a s i d i c s e c t ) a n d re b e c ( a p e a r - s ha p e d, t w o s t r i n g e d o r t h re e - st r i n g e d m e d i e v a l i n s t r u m e n t , p l a y e d w i t h a b o w ) . TH EMES : A fi r s t g la n c e t h e t w o k e y wo r d s o f t h i s s y m b ol w o u l d s e e m t o b e r e d u n d a n t : t h e r e a r e n o r a bbi s e x c e p t J e wi sh on e s. H o w e ve r , w h e n w e e x a m i n e t he m e a n i n g s o f t h e r o ot s o f t h e t w o w o r d s a n i m p o rt a n t r e l a t i on s h i p a m on g t h e m i s e v i d e n t . R e c a l l t ha t t he r o ot o f J e wi sh i s a w o r d m e a n i n g “ c e le b r a t e d ” w h i le t h e r o o t o f r a b b i i s r b b, “ t o b e ( co m e ) m u c h , m a n y, g r e a t . ” T h e a dj e ct i v e s GREAT a n d C EL EBRATED a re synonyms.3

1 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Jew 2 http://web.archive.org/web/20080408064848/www.bartleby.com/61/roots/S259.html 3 http://thesaurus.com/browse/celebrated Starling Hunter © 2011 1