Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Changing rabbis

2 November, 2007

Question:

Hello,

I am inquiring about your answer to the woman who complained that her Rabbi had said that each of the stains she had showed him wasn't good. You write that in light of "your frustration and your difficulties communicating with this rabbi," she should seek another rabbi to show stains to.

In fact, her question mentioned nothing about difficulties communicating with the rabbi, only that his answers weren't the ones she had wanted to hear.

It was my understanding that a person should accept a rav for herself and follow his halachic guidance consistently rather than shopping around for a lenient view. Please advise me of the basis for your ruling.

Thank you very much.


Answer:

You are correct that a woman should accept a rav and follow his views consistently.  In this case, the woman has been doing so in her new community.  Over time, she has come to question whether she was mistaken in choosing this rabbi.  We did not and would not suggest that she rotate rabbis with every stain.  However, if she suspects, based on past halachic experience, that she was mistaken in choosing this rabbi in the first place, she is entitled to seek another rabbi.  Shopping around for a given ruling is a halachic problem; choosing a new rabbi to turn to consistently is not.  

That this woman wrote to us with her concern rather than find a way to address it directly with her rabbi is a clear sign of difficulty communicating.  Even if she is responsible for these difficulties, they can interfere with the halachic process.


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