I first heard the term rabbanit about a year ago, and always had the impression it was the Hebrew equivalent of rebbetzin, which is Yiddish.
However, a recent conversation in the Midrasha showed me another viewpoint….
One of my classmates said to me that I was going to be a great rebbetzin. To which another responded immediately “No she won’t, she’ll be a rabbanit.” I thanked the first person and quizically looked at the second. She went on to explain that rebbetzin is simply the title one gets by being married to a rabbi and that anyone can be a rebbetzin. In her opinion, a rabbanit is woman who is educated and respected in her own right, who happens to also be married to a rabbi.
Woah! Now thats an interesting distinction. It sort of had my mind reeling with the implications and questions, but I couldn’t come to any sort of conclusion.
So now dear readers, I ask you — Do you feel there is any difference between the terms “Rebbetzin” and “Rabbanit?” Does one of these trigger a guttural reaction like it did to my friend?