# Speaking to a Rabbi in the Third Person

Is there a source for requiring one to refer to his Rabbi in the third person and not referring to a rabbi in the second person (i.e. "you")?

I can not recall any reference to this requirement in Halacha and have been told that it stems from Yiddish where there are 2 ways of saying "you".

Regarding a parent this has been asked before, but no halachic source is cited.

Note that every bracha begins with "Baruch atah" which is not third person! If we talk to Hashem in second person it would seem counterintuitive that a rabbi would be stricter.

• I recently saw a source cited in a responsum near the beginning of She-eilas Aharon Vol. 1, by R' Aaron Felder ZTz"L that said that one must address one's Rabbi in plural. Unfortunately, I don't remember the source or have that volume in front of me right now. – Isaac Moses May 8 '14 at 18:33
• here is a discussion with a source yeshiva.co/ask/?id=4825 – rosends May 8 '14 at 18:52
• In extremely formal Modern Hebrew, one uses the third person. However, given the general Israeli disdain for formality, you might never hear this at any point unless you watch Supreme Court arguments. Yiddish uses the plural "you" (ir) for formal "you." The MH usage is likely related somehow, but I'm not exactly sure in what way. – Tatpurusha May 8 '14 at 19:12
• @Tatpurusha the Modern Hebrew usage might come from the French instead. @Yoni - atah is second person, but after asher or ha we're back in third person. – Charles Koppelman May 8 '14 at 21:00
• @CharlesKoppelman you're correct. Rav Tzadok in tzidkas hatzadik makes your point..but it points out that 2nd person is not assur. – Yoni May 8 '14 at 21:14