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TOPIC: Do we need Rabbanim?

Do we need Rabbanim? 4 years 7 months ago #501

  • Malki
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Question:
You rabbis are obsolete. With the free flow of information on the internet, is there really any need to ask a rabbi questions anymore? Ok maybe for personal issues you need to talk to a human, but when it comes to technical things like what is kosher and what isn't - can't I get all I need to know from Rabbi Google?

Answer:
Try this. Google "Is Quinoa Kosher for Pesach?"

You will get, among others, the following answers:

Quinoa is kosher for Pesach.

Quinoa is not kosher for Pesach.

Quinoa needs to be certified as kosher for Pesach.

Quinoa does not need to be certified for Pesach.

Quinoa is only suitable for Sephardim for Pesach.

Quinoa is acceptable for Ashkenazim for Pesach.

Quinoa must be checked for foreign grains before use on Pesach.

Quinoa is acceptable for Pesach, but those who are strict refrain from using it.

Quinoa was eaten by the ancient Israelites as a gluten-free option.

Along with the treasure trove of information on the net, there are piles and piles of misinformation. You need an expert to distill fact from falsehood. The crazy thing is, in this particular case, every one of the statements above may be correct. Except perhaps the gluten-free bit. Even contradictory statements may both be true, depending on the circumstances.

So as a disciple of Rabbi Google, do you eat quinoa on Pesach or not?

There is no way to answer that based on your Google search alone. Because there is one aspect of answering questions that no search engine can mimic. The personal touch.

When you ask a rabbi a question, he takes into account not just the question being asked, but also the person asking it. While many questions only have one definitive answer, and that same answer will be given to anyone who asks it, Jewish law recognizes that certain observances are not uniform. A well-versed expert in Jewish law will know when to take note of extenuating circumstances, such as financial difficulty, health problems, level of observance, family custom and family dynamics. Any or all of these factors may influence the answer to a question.

Google has a scary amount of background information on its users. But it still doesn't know us. You will always need a local Rabbi who does.

So is quinoa kosher for Pesach? Ask your rabbi.

From an email by Rabbi Moss.
'A person can't decide to sit on the sidelines in this world. Once we're born, we're on the playing field that means we have to pick up that ball of life's challenges and begin running with it towards our goal'
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Do we need Rabbanim? 4 years 7 months ago #531

  • basmelech101
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Yes, ok i guess we need rabanim but how about shaila text and all thoses type services... what are the opinions???
Before I knew the best part of my life had come, it had gone…
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Do we need Rabbanim? 4 years 7 months ago #532

  • Ellie
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Hi bas melech,
I like that question!
I personally use a shaila text service. But, I know the rabbanim who are doing it, or not personally, but I know who they are, so it's not anonymous. But about text, I do feel that a person really should ask a rav. There are a number of questions that I would ask, but wouldn't ask this shaila text, as the rabbis don't know me personally, and, in every situation the answer would be different. Basic halacha for one person will be different to basic halacha for another person. chumros for one, would be right for another. etc. Just my opinion... and being that I'm no rabbi ;)
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Do we need Rabbanim? 4 years 6 months ago #542

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ok i like that! and to say the least i agree that a good balance i think shld have a rav for some but the texts are great for others!!
have a great moed!!
Before I knew the best part of my life had come, it had gone…
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Do we need Rabbanim? 4 years 6 months ago #543

  • Hadas Bat-el
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But what if your rav says something you don't agree with? How do you find a Rav that you can trust that's on your derech? And who said the Rav knows anymore than I do?
Welcome to the FHO forum!
I'm Hadas Bat-el founder of FHO! I'm also a poet, blogger, writer, copywriter, and proud redhead! You can read my blog here: frumhangout.com/index.php/blog/item/hadas-bat-el-2 , I post every Sunday!

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Do we need Rabbanim? 4 years 6 months ago #544

  • Ellie
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I've no clue how to answer that....
Do you want me to pass this message (conversation really) on to some rabbi's/rebbetzins or such? I can, and can email their replies to you - if you want just let me know...
oh, should've emailed this to you instead of posting here... oh well ;)
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Do we need Rabbanim? 4 years 6 months ago #545

  • Rebotzin
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hey now that im back in real life. Let me try to respond.

I am a firm Beliver in Aseh Lecha Rav.- Get yourself a Rabbi. I would not be anywhere close to the person I am without one.
But within that Chazal I think it is referring to 2 things.

1- MENTOR- Everyone needs in thier life an older person, with much more experience to help navigate through life. Some one to bounce off ideas, wise words. or just plain Mussar. Obviously this person is one you need to feel comfortable talking to, and some one who you would take seriously. I do not think that they need a degree of some kind, just a Phd from life itself. As men & women are different, and think differently and have a different process to their emotions, I would not recommend using the opposite gender. (thats just aux!)

2-HALACHIC RABBI/RAV- Besides for a mentor, one needs some one to give the final answer/ stamp of approval on bigger decisions. Or if a halachic question comes up one needs someone to ask. Who to choose?
Family rav,/ halacha teacher/ any Male teacher/Menahel I would look at, sometimes when you open your eyes you realize that there are amazingly knowledgeable people around you.

Within asking a question, one must realize 2 things
A- the one who will be giving the answer must have all the details, up until that point.
Halacha isnt so black & white, what works for one isnt good for the next. The Rav MUST know all the previous details. It may be wierd sharing your life, but if not you wont be getting the right Psak. (i have friends who were told that for them it is a MITZVA to listen to music during sefira!)
B- dont shop around. If this Rav knows you, and you were honest with him he is right. sometimes it is hard to swallow, but the right thing isnt always easy. I have gotten alot of interesting ideas that made no sense at the time, looking back if I would have done something diffrent .... life would be different.
If you are struggling with coming to terms with the decision, speak to your mentor, they might be able to explain it. They might ask the Rav what he meant.

When you follow Daas Torah- you can never go wrong!!

Hatzlacha!!!
**They laugh at me because Im different,
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
**If you are not for yourself, who will be for you?
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #744

  • Rena
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I still don't get it though, aren't rabanim really human beings? What gives them the authority to pasken or dictate my life?
It got dark, you think you've been buried but in reality you've just been planted.
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #751

  • Mimi Starr
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Hi, Rena!

Are you new here? If you are, you should really start your own thread so you get the proper welcome!

To answer your question: yes, rabbanim are human beings, but they are also representatives of Hashem, who possess large quantities of wisdom and fear of G-d. We, therefore, turn to them with our questions because we trust their superior knowledge of Torah and levels of G-dly assistance. Of course, everyone decides to what extent they want their spiritual leader to dictate the details of their lives.

Am I denying the existence of corrupt rabbanim who exploit their followers? Absolutely not. These rabbanim do exist, and that is why it's very important that you do your research and make sure a rabbi is legitimate before you become his fervent follower.

Hope to see you around the site!
Last Edit: 2 years 9 months ago by Mimi Starr.
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #752

  • Ellie
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A few points, and I'm really not the person to answer this as there is a heck of a lot that I need to - am - working through regarding Judaism.

First, what are you really asking? What's bothering you here?

Take any organization, there is always someone on top who is running the organization and will often tell the employees to do things that seem weird, but the person in charge knows a whole lot more than the employee at the bottom of the totem pole.
There is a poem I once wrote, I'm not comfortable posting it on a public site, if you want it I can send it to Hadas to pass on to you, basically I was saying how I was stuck in a maze and couldn't get out, but there was a tower in the middle of the maze and the person at the top of the power could direct me out of the maze.

Rabbanim are human. They can't dictate your life. And they actually aren't. What is dictating your life is the torah - if you are following it. And the rabbis just know a whole lot more than you about it so can tell you what the torah means. That's what the gemara is about. explaining it. Rabbis explaining it.

In which ways are rabbis dictating your life?
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #753

  • Hadas Bat-el
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I don't even need to add anything guys!
You got it all covered :)
Welcome to the FHO forum!
I'm Hadas Bat-el founder of FHO! I'm also a poet, blogger, writer, copywriter, and proud redhead! You can read my blog here: frumhangout.com/index.php/blog/item/hadas-bat-el-2 , I post every Sunday!

I can't wait to get to know you all! So what are you waiting for?! START POSTING!

You can also reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions, comments, or you want to help with the site!
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #757

  • Rena
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Mimi Starr wrote:

Are you new here? If you are, you should really start your own thread so you get the proper welcome!

To answer your question: yes, rabbanim are human beings, but they are also representatives of Hashem, who possess large quantities of wisdom and fear of G-d. We, therefore, turn to them with our questions because we trust their superior knowledge of Torah and levels of G-dly assistance. Of course, everyone decides to what extent they want their spiritual leader to dictate the details of their lives.

Am I denying the existence of corrupt rabbanim who exploit their followers? Absolutely not. These rabbanim do exist, and that is why it's very important that you do your research and make sure a rabbi is legitimate before you become his fervent follower.

Hope to see around the site!

1. I wouldn't know what to write in a thread all about me, lol. Yes, I'm new here.
2. I hear your points...but if so, then why do rabanim disagree so much if they are following the same torah? I'm not talking about MO and Yeshivish, but even IN yeshivish or MO circles, about major things and not like just minhagim.
It got dark, you think you've been buried but in reality you've just been planted.
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #758

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Ellie wrote:
A few points, and I'm really not the person to answer this as there is a heck of a lot that I need to - am - working through regarding Judaism.

First, what are you really asking? What's bothering you here?

In which ways are rabbis dictating your life?

They tell me to wear this, do that, go there etc. They say I shouldn't watch movies, or I should wear socks....etc.

Hadas Bat-el can you send me the poem?
It got dark, you think you've been buried but in reality you've just been planted.
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #761

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Sure can send the poem if Ellie e-mails it to me.
I actually remember seeing this poem Ellie, I might even already have it in my inbox, but send it to me anyway. I actually think you WhatsApped it to me, and I recently deleted my WhatsApp...so yeah...
Welcome to the FHO forum!
I'm Hadas Bat-el founder of FHO! I'm also a poet, blogger, writer, copywriter, and proud redhead! You can read my blog here: frumhangout.com/index.php/blog/item/hadas-bat-el-2 , I post every Sunday!

I can't wait to get to know you all! So what are you waiting for?! START POSTING!

You can also reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions, comments, or you want to help with the site!
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #766

  • Mimi Starr
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Hey again!

First of all, I'm sure you have plenty of interesting things about you. And, if not, then write the boring stuff! It'll always be interesting to someone else. For example, I never imagined you might find the fact that I'm chassidish to be interesting: to me, it's just another boring detail.

About your questions: rabbanim have disagreed about the interpretation of the Torah for thousands of years. I don't know if you've ever heard of this, but none of them are wrong. I know it may sound strange, because some of them blatantly contradict each other, but it is said that, when Mashiach comes, we will see how they were all right in some way. I'm not sure what the source for this is, but, if you'd like, I can try to find out.

Additionally, if you put in the proper effort in finding a spiritual leader, then, even if he makes a wrong decision and you go with that, you are not considered responsible for his mistake.

This is because we have our source for following what rabbanim say to the very letter in the Torah. Shlomo HaMelech tells us in Mishlei that we are not to stray from what the rabbanim say to the right or left. According to one of the commentaries (I believe it's Rashi), this means that, even if a rabbi says that right is left and left is right, something that seems obviously wrong, you may not contradict them and stray from their ruling.

In other words, even when your spiritual leader (and you need to choose one for yourself) makes a decision that seems illogical, you are obligated to trust his judgement. That doesn't mean it's easy to give up control; trust in our leaders is something we all need to work on. And, again, you need to decide how much control you want your leader to have over your life. Some people will ask their spiritual leaders for advice before minor decisions. It's your call!

Hope this clarifies things!
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #771

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No offense Mimi, but it sounds like a cop out answer to validate cultish behaviors.
IF a Rabbi says something that deviates from common sense? Left is right, right is left?
Do you have the exact source for that?
It got dark, you think you've been buried but in reality you've just been planted.
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #775

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Note: I am NOT advising you to blindly follow any rabbi with a large enough following. What I AM saying is everyone needs to have a religious leader or mentor. You need to ascertain that the leader you choose is legitimate, and then decide to what extent you want him or her to dictate the details of your life.

"Cultish behaviors," while they may seem fanatic, are not illegal. If someone decides that they want to consult their rabbi before making even the most minor decision, then that is their prerogative. There's no need to judge, label, or deride those who make that decision.

As for the exact source, I did some research and saw I was mistaken in quoting Mishlei. The correct source is Devarim 17:11. Rashi says not to stray from what the religious leader says, and I quote, "even if he says to you that right is left and left is right, and certainly if he tells you right is right and left is left."

The Rambam backs up this assertion by saying that true Jewish leaders are always right even when they seem to be wrong, because Hashem protects them from erring.

If you want to see it for yourself, check out the following link: www.shemayisrael.com/parsha/bonchek/archives/shoftim76.htm
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #778

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Sorry, just saw this.
I hate replying to this as there is so much that I need to work through before all this.
First I will send the poem to Hadas, hang on (though remember it was written as a 13 year old so don't except anything good). Okay, sent it. It's not actually what I thought it was, if I come across what I've really written on it will send it.

Onto rabbis. I've not really read through this thread properly and as I said I'm completely not the person to reply as I'm working through what I believe at the moment but here are my thoughts anyways. Gonna try and keep it concise so as to be understandable (nothing I write is ever understandable :) )

As you've said, the rabbis have conflicting views. Why? Because they're human. And because their views are just that, views. Have you watched them meeting each other? Seen the love and understanding they greet each other with? They see past it.

Torah is not black and white. There are some things that are halacha in all situations - I can't remember off hand what they are (I think I know the hebrew terms from the sheva mitzvos bnei noach which I learned as a kid), there are only 3 things that are so. The rest it depends on the specific situation. So yeah there will be contradictions because what is the situation for that person?

Yeah there are differing opinions too. Like tearing on shabbat. What counts as tearing? What can you tear, what can't you? And some of this goes back actually to minhagim. When the shulchan aruch was written, the, um, I think it was written by r' yosef cairo. the r'ma - r' moshe isserlis (someone correct me if I'm wrong!) wrote a shulchan aruch too. When he saw the one done, he just added his comments. already there, there were differences. in what the sefardim and ashkenazim do. but the differences are halacha from minhag.

When it says left is right, it's referring to the fact that we have a limited view of things and what we perceive as right or wrong can't be understood (I'm remembering that from years ago so could be wrong but I think it's so).

Like it or not rabbis are human being and are not perfect.


Correct me if I'm wrong Rena, I feel like this whole discussion has a premise behind it. What is that for you? That's what really has to be understood first.
Remember, there ARE answers. There is NOTHING that can't be answered. When you are told that there are some things that can't be understood it's referring to the fact that we are finite, whereas for the world to exist there has to be an infinite creator - god - and being that we're finite, we're never gonna be able to truly understand infinity.
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Do we need Rabbanim? 2 years 9 months ago #789

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Thank you, both of you.
I have much more clarity on the topic now.
It got dark, you think you've been buried but in reality you've just been planted.
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