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    Fallen rabbis – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. If a rabbi has lost his credibility do we still follow his rulings?

    A. Rabbi Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University recently gave a serious analysis of the problem, concluding by basically saying “No”.

    He pointed out that Malachi 2:7 as expounded by the sages requires a rabbi to be beyond reproach and be the personification of Torah values. If he has been shown to have violated rabbinic standards there is no obligation to follow his rulings unless (which is difficult to ascertain) they pre-dated his wrongful conduct.

    The example is the teachings of Elisha ben Abuya who turned away from Torah observance and belief and became a heretic known as Acher, “the other person”.

    What a tragedy it is if such problems arise.

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