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April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
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An Affront To Rabbinic Autonomy

Seplowitz-072012

This, I believe, totally undermines the relationship of a rav to his congregation.

The role of the rabbi is to be a leader. The congregation turns to him for guidance and inspiration, not to tell him how to run his pulpit. Should synagogue policy be determined based on what concessions members can squeeze out of the rabbi? (Can you envision the scene? “Sorry, Moses, 80 percent of the Jewish population has decided that we want to stay in Egypt. Drop your 10-Plague Plan or we’re dropping your contract!”)

The notion that people should be instructed to force their rabbi to ignore his own or his teachers’ halachic opinion boggles the mind; it certainly doesn’t sound like Orthodox Judaism.

Your rabbi is your teacher, your spiritual mentor. Please don’t insist that he do that which he feels is wrong.

If you don’t trust his judgment, you shouldn’t have hired him in the first place.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz, a member of the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, is a mohel (BrisRabbi.com) and chaplain in Monsey, New York. His blog on the weekly parshah can be read at TorahTalk.org.

About the Author: Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz, a mohel (BrisRabbi.com) and chaplain in Monsey, NewYork, is a member of the executive committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His blog on the weekly Torah portion can be read at TorahTalk.org.


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