People Without a Rov
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November 14, 2017 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #1403770
Are there many frum people who don’t have a set Rov and/or Posek who is the final ruling authority for themselves and their entire family?November 15, 2017 1:07 pm at 1:07 pm #1404230pro geshmake yiddenParticipant
yes. are you asking because you really don’t know?
where is this question coming from?November 15, 2017 1:31 pm at 1:31 pm #1404245Pro schnappsParticipant
Im trying to understand why a yid wouldnt want a set rov. Imagine. Such harchavas hadaas. U mamish dont need to ever worry.November 15, 2017 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #1404269blubluhParticipant
It’s my personal impression that in our day many yeshiva-educated, though non-smicha’ed Yidden feel they have sufficient knowledge of day-to-day halacha to decide what to do or find the answer themselves in halacha seforim without calling their rav. That’s in contrast to the “olden days”, when the LOR more frequently fielded questions about cooking mishaps, reliability of hasgochos and even choshen mishpat shailos among other things.
However, when it comes to more complicated issues like taharat hamishpacha, educating/raising children and more unusual or severe kashrus and other shailos, I don’t see how anyone can function for long without one’s rav’s number on speed dial.November 15, 2017 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #1404273GadolhadorahParticipant
“Are there many frum people without a rav??””
Actually, a fairly nuanced question. As Sarah Palin would say, among “REAL Frummies” they “go by” the Rav of their chassidus/yeshiva/shul/beis medrash etc. A study a few years ago by some YU professor found that among MOs (aka Young Israel types), they tended less to always use the rav of their local shul as compared with being their “own Rav” and intellectually researching whatever inyan was of concern and making their own decisions w/o consulting anyone. Obviously not what chazal had in mind in re “aseh l’cha rav”.November 15, 2017 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #1404397
How often does an average frum family consult with their Rov for a shaila or other advice?November 15, 2017 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1404419
Not that I condone the practice, but the populace has learned to recognize that rabbonim and poskim have their areas of expertise. Certain ones are keen on kashrus, others on Choshen Mishpat, others on Shabbos, etc. In fact, I have asked shailos of many rabbonim, and have often been directed elsewhere because of the issue of expertise. The result, I fear, is that the average frum Yid can now pick and choose whom to ask, and does so. With this becoming a pattern, there are those rabbonim who are known for being particularly lenient or strict on specific subjects, and the choice of whom to ask is predicated on the expected psak. For that matter, batei din fare similarly, with those specializing in gittin, Choshen Mishpat, and with reputations of being fair to women more than men or vice versa.
The OP implies that there should be a return to the words of Chazal עשה לך רב. My agreement or endorsement is unnecessary. But I do wonder how things got this bad.November 15, 2017 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #1404414
“How often does an average frum family consult with their Rov for a shaila or other advice?”
Would be a very interesting study.
OF course there is wide variability.
Im curious though, if you don’t mind, what do you think the answer should be?
Ie for the “average frum family” how often does/should a shaila arise?
(If you want my answer for the “average frum family” (ie excluding newcomers and excluding those who may be exceptionally learned) Id say range between twice a month and 4 times a year (other than taharas hamishpacha) Admittedly I have no idea how I came up with this number)November 15, 2017 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #1404418lowerourtuition11210Participant
joseph: It depends. During the past 2 years, we had 4 children get engaged and married. We had to consult our Rav on various questions concerning each shidduch. In addition, we had the usual shailos: dairy toaster oven used for uncovered fleishigs; chinuch questions; some medical questions. It is hard to figure out an average as we definitely had to consult with him more than previous years.November 15, 2017 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #1404467
ubiq: You figure a range of between 4 and 24 times a year, excluding taharas hamishpacha shailos. What would you say are a handful of the typical shailos that are being asked between every two weeks to three months?
lot112: Mazal Tov and asach nachas! Aside from shidduch related shailos, how often would you guess your family consults your Rov?November 15, 2017 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #1404480lowerourtuition11210Participant
joseph: It’s hard to say as we have B”H (Kein ayin Harah) a large mishpacha and therefore different issues related to each individual child might cause us to go more often to the Rov. My older sons consult their rabbonim (Rosh Yeshiva, Mashgiach, Shoel Umeishiv) and do not rely solely on my Rov. So it could be as little as once a month or 2-3 times if my children are facing some sort of difficulty. As for the usual kashrus type issues, when a question arises.November 15, 2017 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1404489
“What would you say are a handful of the typical shailos that are being asked between every two weeks to three months?”
Its averaged. And Im closer to the 4 end of things I cant imagine 24 questions arising a year, but I know people who ask more often. Pesach might raise a few. over the year a kashrus question or 2.
Im also excluding stam “hocking” eg after davening about Indian sheitels, chickens, kosher switches, shabbos fridges etc whcih arguably arent “shailas”
And of course this time of year theres my yearly panel that my 4 questions right here:
Can I give out Haloween candy mipnei darkei shalom?
Can I give holiday presents to co-workers?
Can I give chanukah presents to my kids ? (lehavdil, or maybe not in your view)
and of course the only logical question that follows:
Can I decorate my home with lights have a tree in the middle and place the presents in stockings and leave out sufganiya for Hannukah Harry? (Dont ask me how this follows the other 3, some guy on YWN thinks it is the logical outcome of thep previous one)
– I have to ask these every year because although the psak has been long established, there are still people who drei ah kup every year
Anyway what would you say “for the “average frum family” how often does/should a shaila arise?”November 15, 2017 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #1404516
Do you ask your Rov what Yeshiva and Beis Yaakov to send your little (or not so little) children? Whether to take a vacation? How to handle disobedient children. Shalom Bayis questions. Where/whether to move. How much tzedaka to give. Who to give it to. How to resolve a misunderstanding/dispute with your neighbor.
Do you accept a Rov’s decision or advice as the final word?November 15, 2017 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #1404541
Im not sure if that was adressed to me but with the exception of Tzedaka IVe never asked my Rav any of thsoe and its hard for me to imagine a situation where I’d ask about some of the others. (though he may have some good vacation ideas, I should ask him next time)
“Do you accept a Rov’s decision or advice as the final word?”
No, he would think its weird if I did ( I assuem this is regarding the aforementioned questions)November 15, 2017 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #1404546
You feel chinuch habonim, shalom bayis and machlokes are outside the purview of one’s Rov??November 16, 2017 6:35 am at 6:35 am #1404606
I just dont have questions in those areas, and If I did I’d likely be able to solve them on my own.
I dont think “What beracha do you make on an apple” is outside the purview of my Rav either but that doesnt mean I ask him that. (note I didn’t say it was hard to imagine asking any of those questions, merely some namely “Whether to take a vacation? …. Where/whether to move.”)November 16, 2017 7:45 am at 7:45 am #1404615DovidBTParticipant
Does Rov need a Rov too? Or can he be his own Rov?November 16, 2017 7:46 am at 7:46 am #1404614
I’m happy your shalom bayis is perfect but but how can a father not have chinuch questions or know all the answers as to what’s best in such an important and complicated area?November 16, 2017 9:36 am at 9:36 am #1404651GadolhadorahParticipant
Its one of those rare occasions where I think Joe’s point is well taken. If you have a good relationship with your rav and respect his judgement, no reason not to consult with him on ANY important decision in your live, halaachic or otherwise. In today’s world, we get information overload and often want to make a decision but have some hesitancy and are unsure how to resolve. A rav can simply be a good person to bounce ideas off and also may be a great networking source who might refer you to others in the tzibur with subject area expertise you might not have been aware of.November 16, 2017 10:42 am at 10:42 am #1404708
DovidBT: The Rov of my shul consults with his Rosh Yeshiva when necessary.November 16, 2017 11:05 am at 11:05 am #1404743funnyboneParticipant
I have discussed all those questions with my, except vacation.
I have also discussed them at time a with mechanchim, family and friends.
While I respect my ravs advice, at times I will tell him that I disagree and have a discussion why.November 16, 2017 11:45 am at 11:45 am #1404758
funnybone, I’m glad to hear that you discuss with your Rov your family issues concerning chinuch, Yeshiva/Beis Yaakov, Shalom Bayis, moving, tzedaka, machlokes’, etc. You say that if you disagree with his advice you tell him so. If after telling him your disagreement, he considers your point and advises you that he still believes you should do his initial advice despite your disagreement with it, what do you do?November 16, 2017 11:48 am at 11:48 am #1404780
“how can a father not have chinuch questions or know all the answers as to what’s best in such an important and complicated area?”
I dont know they havent arisen yet I supppose. I never said I wouldnt discuss those with my Rav.
Also in your view “for the “average frum family” how often does/should a shaila arise?”November 16, 2017 11:58 am at 11:58 am #1404783smerelParticipant
I would love to have a rov but out of all the shuls in my neighborhood only two have a practicing rov.
One has a shul so crowded that I could never daven there the other is of a totally different haskafa than me.November 19, 2017 9:06 am at 9:06 am #1405564
This thread makes me so sad. So many things have fallen and been lost to us, including the concept of a Rav.
In Israel it’s much more valued and educated about.November 19, 2017 10:52 am at 10:52 am #1405659
smerel: The family rov does not necessarily have to be the Rov of their shul. One of the resumes we received for my son had the family Rov listed as Rav Elya Brudny from Mir even though they did not live in Brooklyn. They also listed the name of their shul rov.November 19, 2017 10:56 am at 10:56 am #1405655yehudayonaParticipant
We don’t need a Rav. We can ask the esteemed CR rabbonim. I’m sure we’ll find a psak we like.November 19, 2017 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #1405824oyyoyyoyParticipant
heard that the reason there ar so many times we need tas a rav shailos is so we can be in their presence oftenNovember 19, 2017 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #1405837DovidBTParticipant
“so we can be in their presence”
Or to remind us of their authority.November 20, 2017 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #1406329oyyoyyoyParticipant
*to ask (sry)
Theres much to be learnt from being around big people, even if they dont say a wordNovember 20, 2017 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #1407302
Joseph wrote: “how can a father not have chinuch questions or know all the answers as to what’s best in such an important and complicated area?”
It is true that every father has chinuch questions and no one can know all the answers as to what’s best in such an important and complicated area. The problem is that this usually applies to the Rav too, only much more so because his knowledge of the children in question is far more limited. These are problems that require nevuah to know what to do and b’avoisainu harabim we do not have nevuah today.November 20, 2017 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #1407264
My guess is that there are very few frum people that don’t have a Rav (or more likely a few rabbonim) that they call for halachic shailos.
My guess that there are many more frum people that don’t have a Rav for non-halachic life questions.
The former is necessary unless you are yourself a posek. The latter is nice (in some circumstances) but not necessary.November 20, 2017 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #1407615
Welcome back benignuman, it’s been some time.
When you speak to your Rov about the chinuch of your children, you tell your Rov about your children, what you think is the best path forward, and ask him, as a talmid chochom experienced dealing with many families and children, what additional insight he has based on his Torah knowledge and hashkafa – and whether the decision you would like to make based on the reasons you explained to him is something he agrees with, recommends a different approach or thinks that only the parent can decide in this particular instance.
Regarding other “non-halachic life questions”, other than things like what to eat for breakfast, what in life isn’t based on Halacha? Whether to take a job surely involves halachic issues, as does how to handle a misunderstanding with your neighbor. There are few serious issues that wouldn’t benefit from your Rov’s input.November 20, 2017 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #1407760Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
“Regarding other “non-halachic life questions”, other than things like what to eat for breakfast, what in life isn’t based on Halacha? Whether to take a job surely involves halachic issues, as does how to handle a misunderstanding with your neighbor. There are few serious issues that wouldn’t benefit from your Rov’s input.”
+1000!November 20, 2017 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #1407758Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
“(If you want my answer for the “average frum family” (ie excluding newcomers and excluding those who may be exceptionally learned) Id say range between twice a month and 4 times a year (other than taharas hamishpacha) Admittedly I have no idea how I came up with this number)”
That seems to me like a very low estimate. Not necessarily in terms of how many sheilas people ask, but at least in terms of how many sheilas they actually have and would want to ask (but may not have anyone to ask).
I think that the range amongst people I know is more like once every week to at least once a day.
But most people I know don’t end up asking each time, either because they don’t have “A Rav” to ask all their sheilas to, or there is no one to ask because it’s Shabbos and they need an immediate answer, or it’s difficult/impossible to find someone to ask each time a sheilah arises and it’s the kind of thing that they can just avoid doing if they have no one to ask.November 21, 2017 2:37 am at 2:37 am #1407881
“I think that the range amongst people I know is more like once every week to at least once a day.”
what can possibly come up once a day? Even once a week I cant imagine?
when Joseph asked me for examples I was struggling to think of more than a handful that arise a year.
(Again we are talking about the average frum person not newcomers. )November 21, 2017 11:46 am at 11:46 am #1408090
I ask about 4 or 5 halachic shailos a year, on average. I imagine that the frequency of asking shailos depends a lot on one’s level of education.November 21, 2017 11:50 am at 11:50 am #1408088
There are some basic things in parenting that are black and white, but those are few and there wouldn’t be a reason to ask about them because the answer is obvious. For the vast bulk of parenting (after the basics are covered) there are just shades of grey, no right answers and no wrong answers, and approaches should be very child specific. If both parents agree, they won’t have a shaila and then there is no reason to go to a Rav. Only if the parents disagree or are uncertain, does going to a Rav or a chinuch expert make sense. But even then, the parents in the way they frame the question greatly influence the rabbinic response because the Rav does not have independent knowledge of the child and his needs.
On the issue of non-halachic questions. Where to take a job has halachic aspects to it, but those aren’t usually the sort of questions that you would need to ask a rabbi. For example, let’s say you are faced with a choice between a job in area where there is kosher food and an area where there is not. A person needs to work out which location is better economically (and for waist sizes) and kosher food is a factor in that, but he doesn’t need the Rav to tell him not to eat at a non-kosher restaurant. He knows that.November 21, 2017 11:51 am at 11:51 am #1408097MenoParticipant
I imagine that the frequency of asking shailos depends a lot on one’s level of education.
It does, but not the way many people think it does.November 21, 2017 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm #1408106
I would expect that it rises with education (as a person learns what is a shaila) and then drops with education as one learns the answers to questions, or how to find the answers, on their own.November 21, 2017 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #1408107
It is sad, but many of the life questions that can be brought to a Rov involve areas in which the Rov himself either struggles or has zero experience. You delineated chinuch. This is a sore spot. While there are rabbonim who are quite wise and astute, aside from their vast book knowledge, many are simply not equipped. If one surveys the oilem of kids that are OTD, there is a surprising number who come from homes of rabbonim and roshei yeshivos. I am not pointing a finger at them for doing anything wrong. They are just not immune from these issues. And if they could not prevent such things from happening to their own, what precisely is their expertise to share with others?
One of my pet peeves with chinuch is that it takes training and experience to be prepared for the applied chinuch, involving creating curriculum, classroom management, teaching strategies, establishing the proper relationship with talmidim as per the guidance of Chazal, etc. This background needs to be a universal mandate, and it is not. There are more such training programs than before, and we still view the rebbeim and teachers with such training to be a small percentage of the population of mechanchim(os).
So if those who actually work in chinuch every day are lacking the expertise and training to do their job, what should make me believe the Rov down the block has the answers?
It is easier than you think to pose shailos to your LOR that fall way outside the domain of his expertise. This is not a condemnation of rabbonim. They may have other redeeming qualities. And the difficult shailoh will probably result in a referral to someone with a greater expertise in the subject.November 21, 2017 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #1408109
It does, but not the way many people think it does.
How does it, and how do many people mistakenly think it does?November 21, 2017 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #1408114
And if they could not prevent such things from happening to their own, what precisely is their expertise to share with others?
Why do you assume that it’s within anyone’s power to prevent someone from making bad choices?November 21, 2017 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm #1408132
Everything is important. You can’t just NOT have a Rav…
Everywhere here I know asks everything from taking a job, moving, or going to college.November 21, 2017 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #1408370
What tells you (or everyone yu know) that your Rov is competent to answer these shailos? Being a nice guy, a talmid chochom, capable of saying Daf Yomi, and darshening by simchos and Shalosh Seudos might not qualify to guide you in taking a job, moving, or college/career issues.November 21, 2017 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #1408372
You wrote “Why do you assume that it’s within anyone’s power to prevent someone from making bad choices?”
I don’t. People have personal responsibility for their behavior. But there is a longstanding debate whether the chinuch input that is believed to be at fault for the OTD phenomenon is the flaw of the parents or the yeshivos/schools. Everyone volleys the responsibility to the other. In reality, there are usually a variety of forces at play, and I don’t give a pass to anyone.
The typical response of the Rov is that the parents are at fault, as no Rov wants to go on record as holding a complaint against yeshivos (all of them or a specific one). In fact, it is difficult to ever take a yeshiva to Beis Din, as almost every single Beis Din refuses to accept such cases. They fear the backlash if they were to pasken against a yeshiva. However, if this typical Rov blames parents for flawed chinuch, how would he explain his own child that is OTD? No one can overlook personal choice. But parents and yeshivos have considerable input and influence over young people.
So the question still remains. Is the Rov qualified to guide decisions in matters of chinuch?November 21, 2017 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1408404
TLIK, who do you think is more qualified than one’s Rov to guide you in taking a job, moving, or college/career issues? Do you think a Rov, talmid chochom and tzaddik have no input on these issues?November 21, 2017 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #1408416
The little I know: That’s why you research who you pick.November 21, 2017 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #1408419
I don’t. People have personal responsibility for their behavior.
Then why does a rov’s child going OTD r”l necessarily mean they don’t have expertise in chinuch, as you imply?November 21, 2017 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #1408512
TLIK: You wrote “The typical response of the Rov is that the parents are at fault, as no Rov wants to go on record as holding a complaint against yeshivos (all of them or a specific one).”
Based on what research do you derive this conclusion?
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