Ask the Rabbi

  • Torah and Jewish Thought

How to ask questions correctly?


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tammuz 9, 5780
In Judaism are there rules how to ask questions?
ב"ה Shalom Please allow me to clarify first some essential things for asking questions on this website and they will also have ramifications on questions in Judaism in general. Normally, if you meet a Rabbi in person or you speak to a Rabbi on the phone, you ask your question as you understand and then the Rabbi can question you for clarifications. After the Rabbi has received a clear picture of things he can give you the most accurate answer . This is totally unlike answering questions on a website where there is no direct communication between the asker and the Rabbi. The Rabbi cannot ask question to clarify. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the asker clarify the questions, offering as many details relevant to the question so the Rabbi can deduct what is needed to answer. If the asker does not give enough details, the Rabbi will have to make assumptions perhaps not exactly what the asker had intended. This will then lead the Rabbi to a solution in one direction when the asker had in mind another direction. Although, the Rabbi will have answered correctly to the conditions he describes, the scenario may be different from what the asker meant. The asker should NOT assume that the question is clear to the Rabbi as it is in the asker's head. In Judaism in general, the Torah views questions in a very positive way, stating that a shy person who does not ask will not learn either. Furthermore, the Rabbis in the Mishna in Pirkey Avot say that a person should acquire himself or herself a Rabbi and thereby remove doubts from the mind. There is also another important issue and that is to address a question to a Rabbi respectfully. I am not in any way hinting that you did not, but just as reminder to the others who will read this answer. I say this because, social media is extremely common these days and many people are on many social media groups which in many cases have their own informal way of correspondence. A Rabbi represents to the Torah and encapsulates its ideals and lives by them. Therefore, a Rabbi must be addressed accordingly even when he acts with humility and doesn’t demand it. All the Best
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר