When It Comes To Rabbis, Who Is Really In Charge?

When It Comes To Rabbis, Who Is Really In Charge?
by Miriam Shaviv
The Jewish Chronicle
December 1, 2016

There was one big surprise in the Chief Rabbi’s measured letter on partnership minyanim last week.

Not the fact that he is against these services – he has made this clear before. And not that he confirmed that participation in a partnership minyan should not “preclude a person from assuming particular roles or responsibilities” in the United Synagogue. This was always US policy before it was upended in Borehamwood.

No, the surprise was the level of autonomy he was willing to give his local rabbis.

The rabbi of Borehamwood, Chaim Kanterovitz, was the Marah D’atra, or the halachic authority in his own community, and could manage his own “local considerations”. In other words, Rabbi Mirvis seemed to be conceding permission to individual pulpit rabbis to set their own policy, even if it contradicts his own. Read More

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