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Frequently I have heard people refer to a community or their shul rabbi as a "moron d'asarah" which sounds like it means "the moron of the ten".

I guess I can understand the reference to "ten". Maybe because a shul rabbi depends on a minyan of ten men? But isn't calling a community rabbi, especially one who is well-learned and one who is a tzaddik and a community leader a "moron" extremely disrespectful? Why are so many people using this title?


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    He’s simply emulating our מרן דבשמיא. #MishloachMinus – DonielF Mar 9 at 14:54
  • @DonielF You're thinking too much like me ... I didn't want to put that part in. I like the hashtag. That's what I'll be doing a lot of this year b/c of COVID. – DanF Mar 9 at 15:01
  • Here we go, found the Mishloach Minus post: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/6305/heresy-on-purim – DonielF Mar 10 at 18:08
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Any person who wants to be a rabbi of a shul, what with all the heartache and in-fighting and dealing with the board, etc., he has to be somewhat of a moron.

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This title is used based on the Mishnah (Megillah 1:33). The Mishnah states that a big city is a city with 10 batlanim.

איזו היא עיר גדולה כל שיש בה עשרה בטלנים

Now, the understanding of this phrase is subject to wide interpretations. In a simple sense, the phrase has carried some negative conations through certain bastardizations in Yiddish. Nonetheless, the original intention was indeed a very positive one. So, although the later usage was closer to that of a moron, the original idea it represented was in fact a rather exalted one. Thus, the statement that one has reached the position of Moron D’asra really conveys a deeply rooted historical definition as to why a moron is indeed not a moron, rather a saint. And this saint is in charge of ten.

Purim happy

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