Indeed, the problem with North American Jewry i that it resembles the professional titles, so that so long as here is moniker attached to the name you are a . . . whether you know anything or not. The Hazon Ish never served a congregation in his life, nor did Rabbi Elyashiv, nor did the Baba Sali, yet they were recognized as the leaders of the generation. In the States, you are nothing without a "title", so that the letters after a name, or some "thing" means everything. For some reason unknown to me, the North Americans among us want us to play thier game, a foolish and wasteful game that causes strife and dissention We don't need it! Minhag Israel is that you prove yourself by what you can do, even if you don't have a ''''degree", or a "title", or a name by which you call yourself . Too many rabbis, whose knowledge of Judaism is likely less than the average Daf Yomi ba'al bayit serve as congregational rabbis in the States, and . . . pontificate on the pages of HaAretz. In contrast, in many Yeshivot, students have to be persusaded to take tests, people who are quite qualited to take them. Seems once you take the test, you have to "become a rabbi", rather than a "Talmid Chacham", the ultimate goal, in theory of every Jew, not just those people that are currently "studying the Talmud".
Russian jets pound Islamic State in Palmyra (DPA)