Rav Avigdor Miller on Choosing a Rav

How are we to determine which talmid chochom has the right Torah attitudes in order to attach ourselves to the right person? And if he has wrong Torah attitudes what should we do about it?

How are we to determine which Torah teacher has the right Torah attitudes? So the question is – how are we to determine which physician is competent? Let’s say you move into a new neighborhood and you want to find a competent doctor. So first you will have to consult the New York State Board of Licensing. If the doctor has a genuine certificate that allows him to practice medicine, that proves that he passed the Board of Licensing tests. In that case, he probably knows something about medicine. Probably he can prescribe medicine, let’s say for a headache or something like that.

If you want more competence than that, then you’ll have to ask your old family physician to investigate among his peers in your new neighborhood and he’ll be able to tell you. If you need to know about a good specialist, you’ll have to investigate even further. You’ll ask your family doctor and others who know the specialists. You don’t just go to a specialist on your own. You have to make sure to have someone recommend a good doctor.

Finding a talmid chochom with the right attitudes is at least as important as finding a good doctor. And therefore if you want to know if a talmid chochom is competent you should go to the Yeshivas and speak to the Roshei Yeshiva. Speak to them and ask them. Don’t be lazy about it. There are Roshei Yeshiva in almost every big place today. You have Roshei Yeshiva in Cleveland. There are Roshei Yeshiva in Chicago, in Toronto, in Montreal, in Baltimore. So you ask them and they’ll tell you.

Now, you ask – if you determine that a talmid chochom has wrong Torah attitudes what do you do about it? Number one is to have no contact with him. That’s most important. And probably you can’t do any more than that.

TAPE #119