Sunday, May 01, 2011


Blind Following or Proper Kavod?

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

On my post “Got Sheep?” right before Passover where I responded with astonishment and a cry of outrage that a Chief Rabbi of Israel suggested that you have to be of the right level to perform a korbon pesach (and therefore we can’t do it), a commentor replied…

sorry, this is why i only rarely read this blog. it troubles me greatly when you question and disdain the chief rabbi of israel? or other great rabbeim. you may be a very learned person. but it's like the guys at the temple mount institute (not saying you are like them exactly)..they have the nerve to go against the torah sages and condone visits to the temple mount.

this is not good for am yisrael and neither is your disdaining rav amar. when you disdain him, because he is the chief rabbi, you are in essence 'separating yourself from the community' and this is a very bad thing. i don't think you intend that, but this is how it comes across.

when you disdain the chief rabbi of israel you are disdaining the people of israel. not good, not good at all. there is a chutzpadik aspect here that is not healthy.  and now, i won't be looking at this blog again for a long time.

We do not live in a generation of final Torah authorities, to our regret there is no Great Sanhedrin.  In generations past, Torah sages were the final authorities of their geographic areas (town, city, or country).  It was possible for the Rambam to rule one way and the Torah authorities of France to determine the Rambam’s positions were inappropriate for their community.

Yet today our Torah authorities are crowded into a few areas (New York/Monsey/Lakewood, Jerusalem/Bnei Brak), and instantaneous communications means even when words of one authority are targeted at their community, their words are heard across Torah Jewry.

This leads to different Torah positions bumping up against each other.  For example from the commentor’s response, most authorities hold it’s inappropriate to ascend Har HaBayit.  But NOT all.  Some very serious charedi authorities permit it and ascent themselves.  Who’s word is final?  In this generation…none.  (On the other side of the same question there are those who won’t place a note in the Kotel [Western Wall] or even lean up against the stones because it [may] break the plane of the exterior surface and means, according to the strictest interpretation, that your finger has entered Har HaBayit.)

I did not disdain Rav Amar, shlita.  I cried out in disbelief!  How can a Torah leader stand up and say “Who are we to bring the korban pesach?”  Who are we?  We are the children of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov.  We are the nation of Israel, the people of Israel who received the Torah at Har Sinai.  We are commanded to bring the Korban Pesach!  So whether we are worthy or not, we (should) do so because G-d said so!

Regarding the Chief Rabbis of Israel.  This is a religio-political office, subject to political negotiations, voting and power swapping.  The Chief Rabbis are learned men with significant roles.  But they are not gedolei hador (though it is true that some gedolei hadorim have been chief rabbis in their past).

When anyone, even respected authorities, stand up and say we should ignore clear mitzvot of the Torah, I would expect a natural cry of pain to come out of the (religious) people of Israel.  That’s not disdain, that’s the Jewish neshama (soul) crying out in the name of Hashem.


  1. Thanks for this post. It has bothered me since I read it the first time. Who are we? We are Jews, who are commanded to do exactly this. Who are we to NOT do it?

  2. Akiva, I am not religious in your definition but I agree that we ignore Torah mitzvoth. I agree with the Tanach talking about "Faithless Shephards" which would perfectly describe the comment of the Rav Amar.

    Why are you so convinced that the so called Rabbi's of today are the Torah leaders? Read Isaiah 29:13

    This verse dispells that completely. They are and have strayed from the Torah for almost 2200 years. We have been exiled because of them, we have lost the 2nd Temple because of them and you still hang on. As a dog returns to his vomit so does a fool return to his foolishness.

    I am not saying disregard all of their wisdom over the centuries, but you cannot take everything as being completely true based on the fact that some is correct. We must return to haShem and if that means forsaking the "Faithless Shephards" in the process, so be it. This is the only way to bring about the guelah in a not so harsh way. But our stubborness will prevail.

    They are hanging on for dear life now. They from what I am understanding from the Charedi world are demanding more and more that they are in charge. They demand that their sheeple follow every thing they say. It's all about control, the exact problem with the leaders of Egypt at the time just before we left Egypt.

    How can one expect graciousness from haShem at the time of ones death when He would ask if we listened to Him or the that of men who disregard His Instruction. It's simply amazing.

    Go back to our Father. Listen to the Prophets of old. We cannot see the forest for the trees.

  3. Very well answered Akiba. I was at the home of a Talmid Chacham this shabbat and he gave us a beautiful Torah on this weeks perasha. The conversation ended up with where we stand today and we spoke how this generation is the same one in thr midbar and who lived through the spies and the subsequent non entrance of Eretz Israel. I asked him if this is so then why do our leaders who know infinetely more than me and who should have much clearer vision, not see this and rally us all to go back and make the tikkun once and for all. As I uttered this question the Talmid Chacham smiled and then I realised I had answered my own question. It is precisly because it is the same people again that they are capable of doing the same thing again!!! We have to break the mould and rely on what Hashem wants from us only!


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