The simplest definition of a rabbi is a Jewish person who teaches the Torah. These teaching duties can also be expanded to include preaching to congregations and serving as the keeper of the synagogue. In Orthodox Judaism rabbis are always male, but in reformed congregations they can be female as well.
Rabbi Term Timeline in The Color of Water
The timeline below shows where the term Rabbi appears in The Color of Water. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Dead
...parents were polar opposites. Her father, Fishel Shilsky, who she called Tateh, was an Orthodox rabbi. He was Russian but moved to Poland for his arranged marriage with Ruth’s mother Hudis,... (full context)
Chapter 5: The Old Testament
Chapter 9: Shul
Chapter 20: Old Man Shilsky
...the elderly black man living there knew the Shilsky family. The man, Eddie, knew “ol’ Rabbi Shilsky” (Tateh) and thinks it’s hilarious that he ended up with a mixed-race grandson. He... (full context)
Chapter 22: A Jew Discovered
...he is technically Jewish too. Unfortunately this religious bond doesn’t help him with the new rabbi at the Suffolk synagogue, who knows James is black and as a result seems unwilling... (full context)
...is hesitant, but enlists Kathy to come and provide moral support. During the wedding the rabbi, David’s uncle, mourns his sister, Halina, who died before she could see her son marry. (full context)