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Author:  EA
E-mail:  not available
Date:  1/18/2004 3:23:00 PM
Subject:  RE: Halacha....
Message:  Thank you for your reply to my questions about gelatin and HaRav Ovadia Yosef. I was interested in your statement that : "If you just follow him as that supreme Rabbi, then you need to realize that there is not really such a concept."     I do not see him as a "supreme rav" however, I was under the impression that one should have one main rav in which he follows, as not to only pick and choose which halachot he "wants" to follow according to different rabbaim. When I became aware of your website, and the idea of gelatin always being kosher, I spoke to a rav about it. He claimed that it would be fine for me to hold this way, however, only if I hold by your halachot in every manner, making you somewhat of a "supreme Rav" in a sense. This idea seemed to make sense to me, however, from your response, I am confused. Please enlighten me.

                                                                                WIth Respect,
                                                                                                  
                                                                                                EA
   
Reply:  By Supreme Rav, I mean that people think that they have their local Rav whom they respect only a bit, but they call him for all their questions. Then they have that major "Gadol" or famous Rabbi (the Supreme Rav) that they respect. Sort of like a general Doctor and a Specialist. They go to him when they have big things to ask, or if they don't like their local Rabbi's answers. This should not be. If that local Rabbi is not properly qualified, as is usually the case, then don't call him at all and don't follow him. If he is qualified, then you should follow him even on opinions that are different than those of that "big" Rabbi. The Rabbis in the Mishnah almost all disagreed with Rabbi Eliezer, yet his community was rewarded with extra long lives, because they followed him on his Heterim (lenient opinions) on things that the others held were deserving of capital punishment. That is the extreme of this concept. Find a "qualified" Rav, and go with him on everything. Until then, you can technically follow one for this and another for that, as long as the specific laws are not contradictory. But as an observant Jew, you are really playing games, when you shop around.
AA

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