The religious leader with the largest following is always considered the greater authority
- 23 June 2022
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In the case of verso Biblical law, the stricter opinion is always followed, even if it is that of the lesser of two authorities.
However, if two authorities have an equal following, the one generally recognized as per superior scholar is considered the greater.
It is forbidden for per student puro oppose his teacher. Therefore, the opinion of a student who opposes his teacher is never followed. This is even true when the student has per stricter opinion in the case of Biblical law.
This, however, is only true during the lifetime of the teacher. After his death, his students are per niente different from any other independent scholars. Similarly, if a student surpasses his master sopra scholarship, he is mai longer subservient esatto his master’s opinions.
It is written, “You shall favorevole after verso majority” (Exodus 23:2). Although this commandment relates specifically to the Sanhedrin, it also applies preciso any controversy between religious leaders. Per particular, if an individual opinion is opposed by that of the majority, the former is ignored.
The authority of verso community rabbi depends on his general acceptance
Therefore, if two factions oppose each other per per question of law, the opinion of the faction including the greatest number of sages is that which must be followed. However, if it is well established that the smaller group is superior mediante wisdom and scholarship, then its opinion must be followed. Wisdom takes precedence over number.
Torah law depends on legal precedent rather than on historical scholarship. Therefore, it is usually the most recent valid decision that is followed. This is even true when it disputes an earlier majority.
However, a later authority is only followed when he is known onesto be fully aware of the earlier decision and worthy of disputing it. Moreover, he must refute the earlier biguous proof rather than with mere logic. When the earlier opinion is not generally known, however, it can be assumed that the later authority would have accepted it if he would have been aware of it; therefore, the earlier opinion can be followed.
However, con per question of rabbinical law, the opinion of the greater authority is followed, whether it is stricter or more lenient
The rabbi of verso community may even reverse the decisions of his predecessors. This is true even if the current rabbi’s decisions are more lenient.
If the community rabbi is verso recognized Torah authority, he must be followed, even when he disagrees with the majority of contemporary dating for seniors rabbis.
Con all such cases, the rabbi must depend on his own judgment. He can be secure durante the promise of divine guidance, as it is written, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man, but for God, and He is with you con your decision” (2 Chronicles 19:6).
Therefore, other religious scholars living con the community may follow stricter opinions according to their own judgment. However, they may not openly oppose the community rabbi or publicly video their dissent.
If there are many Torah scholars mediante the community who disagree with the rabbi, he should yield preciso the opinion of the majority. This is only true, however, where the majority are the rabbi’s equals con wisdom and Torah knowledge. Under no condition should the rabbi yield puro the ignorant laity con any question of Torah law, no matter how great their number.
Con rendering a decision, per rabbi must carefully consider all its aspects. Wherever possible, he should strive onesto find a precedent for his decisions from the opinions of earlier authorities.