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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Can a Gadol Resign?

Gedolim are not perfect. They are human, just like the rest of us. A true Gadol will always try to do the right thing. And the public should not lose out because of occasional errors.
The late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv on October 08, 2009, about three years before his death.

The late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv on October 08, 2009, about three years before his death.
Photo Credit: Yosef Avi Yair Engel/GPO/Flash90

That there is no way of knowing when a Gadol has been manipulated into a bad decision by an agenda driven handler- is why public pronouncements made in his name should never be believed. Unless they see it written and signed in his own handwriting . It is our responsibility to know that and not his responsibility to stop rendering decisions. A true Gadol remains a true Gadol whether others misuse or manipulate him or not. What all this means is that one should try to get direct access to insure that his views are real… and not believe what you hear.

The only real question is who is a real Gadol today? What are the qualifications? What kind of achievements should he have? How intelligent and how learned should he be… in Torah and in Mada? What kind of personal character is required? To what extent are we required to follow his views? These are all legitimate questions about which I have my own view and is beyond the scope of this essay. I have discussed them in the past and they are beyond the scope of this post. But once someone has achieved that status, resigning is not an option.

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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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