MAR

MAR (Aram. מַר; lit. "lord"), a term of respect and endearment used in addressing an important person. Daniel addressed the king as mari ("my lord"; Dan. 4:16). The rabbis related that King jehoshaphat rose from his throne upon seeing a scholar, embraced him, and exclaimed, "My master, my master; my teacher, my teacher" (Ket. 103b; Mak. 24a). In Babylonia mar was used as a deferential and respectful form of address. A son reporting his father's teachings was urged to say, "thus said my father, my master" (Kid. 31b). When rav acted as interpreter for Shila, the latter asked him to cease, proclaiming Rav his "master" upon perceiving his greatness (Yoma 20b). Abbaye referred to his uncle and teacher, Rabbah b. Nahamani, simply as Mar, without adding any name (Pes. 101a). Tavyomi's colleagues always called him Mar and he is therefore always referred to in the Talmud as "mar bar rav ashi " (Kid. 31b). Mar finally became a title preceding the name, and it became customary in Babylonia to call scholars mar and not rav. This was particularly so in the case of the two famous contemporaries of Rav, Mar samuel and mar ukba ,   as well as mar zutra . When a passage already quoted in the Talmud is quoted again for the purpose of further elucidation, it is introduced with the words "Mar said," which in the context merely means "It has been stated above" (e.g., Bet. 2a). In modern Hebrew Mar is used as a term of address like the English "Mister." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hyman, Toledot, 897ff.; J. Schechter, Oẓar ha-Talmud (1963), 244.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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