The title rabbi
Q: Is the Congregation Leader at Beth Yeshua a rabbi?
A: If you have to choose between a vicar, an imam or a pastor, a preacher or a spiritual leader, then in a Jewish community, the title of rabbi sounds more in place. Lion Erwteman received smicha as a rabbi by a Jewish Messiah believing organization. But compared to rabbis of orthodox-Jewish and liberal-Jewish congregations, his education has been different, that is why Erwteman does not call himself rabbi. Some people choose to use that title, and that is their own choice.
Q: Does the New Testament not say that you should not call yourself rabbi or let yourself been called rabbi?
A: There seems to be something mentioned like that. But read the first 7 verses and you notice that it is talking about men who are sitting at the first row with a wrong attitude and at places of honor. They call themselves with a title from the first century: rabbi; and allow people to approach them like that. That is what verse 8 talks about. The term rabbi was new at that time and showed pride and arrogance. The later meaning of rabbi was: teacher.
Q: Yet, it seems more safe to call no one rabbi
A: It seems like that. But beware, watch what the same text warns even more about: “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’. Because there is only one who is your Father and that is your Father who is in heaven”. That statement seems to be contradicting to the commandment that you must honor your father and mother. Furthermore, can you not call your own father ‘your father’ anymore? Notice that these warnings against ’rabbi’, ‘father’ and later also ‘master’ in Matthew 23:8-10, are only meant to avoid abuse of those excellent titles, by people who were and are addicted to worship themselves.