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How can someone change their community?


Rabbi David Sperling

Shevat 11, 5783
Shalom, how can someone change their community? The point is i do not get along with the Rav. I have not been grown up with minhags and most of the time i feel lost.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. I’m sorry to hear that you don’t get along with your Rav, and that feel lost in many areas of your religious life. A person certainly needs both a community and Rav – as it says in Pirkay Avot (1,6) “Joshua ben Perahiah used to say: appoint for thyself a teacher, and acquire for thyself a companion”. These are not so much obligations, rather basic needs of a person in life – someone to help show us the way, to inspire, to teach and a community of friends with which to share, bond and work with. The way a person finds a Rabbi and community is not a halachic rule. Different people find their communities in different ways. Some are born into a community. Some move to a community. And some choose their community. All of these ways are totally acceptable. After joining a community, and finding a Rav, one is under no obligation to stay fixed with them. A person can move on in life, from one community to another, from one Rav to another. There is no contract, no “joining up”. (A person may in some cases pay to join a synagogue, but leaving is simply informing the shul that they’re not renewing their membership). So, to answer your question – look around your city. Try out different synagogues. Go to classes with different Rabbis. Speak to different people. Then, as you find the place and people that suit you, you will spend more and more time with them, and, G-d willing, they will become your new community and Rav. May you blessed with many blessings.
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