Response: The Rabbinate (L’Eylah)

Published 10 March 1983
rabbi sacks faith leaders canonicals

Excerpt: Starting with this issue, L’Eylah will contact a regular feature called RESPONSE. The idea is to confront religious leaders in our community with a series of questions bearing on a subject of current concern; and then to invite readers of L’Eylah to respond to the same questionnaire – or to the rabbis’ answers.

The first subject chosen was the Rabbinate itself. Just what is a Rabbi supposed to do. Does it depend on the individual minister? Does it depend on his congregation What is he allowed, or duty-bound, to talk about from the pulpit. Should he stay put in one community or should he move on after five or ten years? What are the ground rules for the minister-laymen relationship? And what about that old stalking-horse – the question of canonicals? Do they make a Rabbi look like a Rabbi, or like a vicar? What do the Rabbis themselves feel about their robes of office?