Do You Have a Rav?

Pirkei Avos says that you should aseh lecha rav – make for yourself a Rav.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a Rav:
– Answering Halachic Questions
– Teaching you Gemora and other aspects of Torah
– Giving you Hashkafic Guidance

Do you have a Rav for all these categories? What categories have you seen others lacking in?

Would you be willing to pay a small fee to a Rav to guide you in these areas?

Do you think others with a Rav would be willing to pay a small fee?

14 comments on “Do You Have a Rav?

  1. Maybe what AMR is referring to is that your own Rav should care enough to teach you Hilchos Sukkos before the holiday, and to pay a visit in order to make a personal inspection of your Sukkah, in order to ensure that your Sukkah is kosher to use during Sukkos.

    Years ago, our Rav at that time came to our apartment to make a visual inspection to assist us in figuring out how many mezuzos were needed (we had a question about how many doorways there were).

    I’m not offended if my own Rav will not eat my cooking or eat in my Sukkah. As mentioned above, many people have different Kashrus standards. My Rav might eat meat and chicken only from a certain shechita for his own preference but not require others to be so restrictive.

  2. The food situation in a house can always be “remedied” by using a particular restaurant, caterer, etc. It’s actual construction is not an issue, while the construction of the sukkah may be of concern to the rabbi.

  3. The concept of creating or making or setting for oneself a rav is quite important. But one has to make a wise choice when doing so. to choose a rav that has little in common with you, has no reason to eat in your sukkah, is not correct.

    The concept really has little or nothing to do with kashrut

  4. This comment is about the kashrus of food but could apply equally to the kashrus of the sukkah itself:

    Many rabbis who have a diversity of observance levels within their congregations elect not to eat at any members’ homes so as not to embarrass some people.

    Some rabbis have found (or created) congregations where all member families meet an acceptable kashrus standard. We enjoyed this situation when we belonged to the Young Israel of Houston. People were frequently invited to eat at each other’s homes, creating achdus.

  5. There would be a problem if I wouldn’t eat in my Rabbi’s Sukkah. If he won’t eat in my Sukkah? I’m glad he has higher standards than I do!

  6. AMR, I’m not sure I understand your question. Even if a Rabbi wouldn’t eat in my Sukkot, why should that disqualify him from paskening or giving me advice? People have different standards, is there a problem with that?

  7. A question for those who have posted. The Various and sundry Rabbi’s that you are all using – would they without question or comment eat in your sukkot?
    if not or you dont know the answer – why are you asking these rabbis any questions or advice?

  8. Around 15 years ago, I chose a Rav to fulfill “aseh lecha rav.”

    As a Baal Teshuvah, I did not have the experience to choose the best Rav for me. I made the mistake of choosing a Rav who is a famous tzaddik and travels often to far away places, so he was not able to give me much time. I would have been better off choosing a Rav that few people know about and rarely travels.

  9. From March 1976 until we moved away in February 1987, my husband and I were members of the kehillah of Rav Avigdor Miller, ob”m. Both of us recognized Rav Miller as our rav and final arbiter so to speak in all religious matters, particularly in Hashkafa (outlook) and child rearing. Interestingly enough, Rav Miller did not like to pasken, so for “spoon and pot” type of kashrus queries I would call a different rav, usually Rav Osher Zimmerman ob”m, and for niddah issues I would generally call Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz ob”m or Rabbi Laibel Katz.

    Rav Avigdor Miller used to say it is important in a marriage for a husband to have one particular Rav or Rosh Yeshiva, so that his wife can call up that Rav or Rosh Yeshiva whenever she has a problem with her husband to get help. Rav Miller said it was a big problem when the husband davens at Shul A on weekdays and at Shul B on Friday nights and at Shul C on Shabbos morning, as there is no one rav whom the husband looks to for guidance.

  10. I have a number of Rabbeim I go to for different sorts of questions: 1 for hecksher related, 1 for kitchen kashrut, 1 for shabbat/yom tov. I have a few different ones I ask for hashkafa questions, but in all hashkafa cases I ask for eitza (advice) not psak – the final decision is up to me.

    Additionally I have rabbis from different derachim whom I ask straight halacha questions so as to be able to explain different minhagim to people. The local Sephard, MO, and Yeshivish rabbis are all very good about answering questions from their point of view. They are all cc’d on these questions, and sometimes I get to see interesting dialogs among them as they read each others’ answers.

  11. Going back to Yissachar and Zevulun, Talmidei Chachamim need financial support.

    Having a financial arrangement does not mean the person is your employee.

  12. I’m fortunate that I often pray in a Kollel, so almost literally tripping over rabbis who can answer questions.
    However, finding one that wants to learn Gemora one-on-one is a problem because I don’t want to learn just pshat, and thats beyond the mindset of those educated in the typical modern yeshiva.
    And there-in lies the seed of a hashkafic divide for me.

    If I’m paying for a Rav, he becomes an employee, and thats a different relationship…

    I once had a Rav (not officially) who was also a friend, but unfortunately he was in his early 70s and moved away to Lakewood, and I went to Brooklyn. I’m working on another such relationship now, but with a man in his early 60s. The process is almost like a shiddukh…

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