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  • Ronnie

    Let the Moshiach come soon. The number of cases of “abuse” in EVERY sense of the word has left me thoroughly disgusted and non-trusting of many people, especially those insisting they should be held in the highest esteem. There are rabbis that I look up to with very high regard, but it is a handful. When I was younger, I thought smicha automatically raised a human’s level of holiness. For many, I think it’s just a ‘degree’, not much different than my college degree. Actions, not just knowledge, raise holiness … and can lower it.

  • Bentzion Turin

    “[H]umans greedy for power” have been around since Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4) and will remain with us until the messianic age when the “wolf shall dwell with the lamb.” (Isaiah 11). Notwithstanding, the “system” of rabbinic authority is actually quite resilient to abuse by “humans greedy for power.” In the post World War II era, the rabbinic authority with the most power (in terms of deciding questions of Jewish law) was universally acknowledged to be Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986). In a 1975 NY Times interview he was asked how he acquired his status as a posek (decisor of Jewish law). Rabbi Feinstein responded, “‘You can’t wake up in the morning and decide you’re an expert on answers,” he said. ”If people see that one answer is good, and another answer is good, gradually you will be accepted.” Ultimately, Rabbis only obtain and maintain authority through the support of their communities. See “Responsa The Law as Seen By Rabbis for 1,000 Years” (NY Times, May 5, 1975); “Thousands Mourn Talmudic Scholar” (NY Times March 25, 1986).

  • Job

    I think the difficult questions are answered some other way-the Holy Spirit perhaps. Inspiring with truth! Yeah, that’s it. This system is entirely too convenient for humans greedy for power.

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