The other day while visiting someone in the hospital I met the one of the visiting chaplins who was wearing a shirt with “Rabbi” embroidered over the shirt pocket. I thought it very nice that a rabbi was in ministering to the sick. Another woman and I were chatting with him and I was getting ready to use the title rabbi with his name after he handed out his card, when he mentioned to the woman who said that she is a Baptist that he was, too,
The conversation went on a while about a number of non-religious topics and he was getting ready to make his good byes when I said, “I was getting ready to call you Rabbi until I heard you say you were a Baptist. How did you come to be called rabbi?” He smiled as he looked down at his pocket like he forgot that was on his shirt. “We’ll, let me tell you the story behind that name. My father-in-law 25 years ago gave my wife and I CB radios while we were expecting our first child. (This was way before the time when mobile phones were around, let alone as affordable as they are today.) As you may remember you needed a ‘handle’ (or nick name) to use on the air. I decided on the name ‘the Rabbi’. Well time went on and I became known even outside of the CB world as Rabbi. Now, even practically everyone calls me Rabbi or the Rabbi”
I thanked him for sharing his story and we all went our separate ways.