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The need for a Rabbi and related questions
Hi there,

A few years ago, I asked a question about needing a rabbi, or accepting upon oneself a rabbi. Within the answer given was the notions of accepting a rabbi's "rulings". The definition of a ruling is an authoritative decision, like one made by a judge.

In the Seven Commandments, it's clear that Gentiles must judge ourselves based on the Seven Commandments (in Rambam's depiction of the Law of Dinim). My understanding is that Ramban's commentary on Genesis ch. 34 concludes that Yaaqov and his sons had no authority to judge Shekhem. By logical extension (my words follow) Israel doesn't administer judgments and punishments upon the nations.

But based on what I was told here before, rabbis can make "rulings" on Gentiles. If rabbis have no jurisdiction over Gentiles, what authority do these "rulings" have? I can understand that the Jews have the Torah, the revelation of G-d and thus they may have a certain level of expertise on what the Torah says about the details of the Seven Commandments. So they have the ability to convey Torah teachings about the Seven Commandments. So that means that I can see that the expertise to teach. But I don't see where rabbis or any Jews have any authority over Gentiles. I can see that judges of Israel had legal authority over Israelites and Jews. I don't see where that spreads across to Gentiles. I can see in the Seven Commandments and in the tradition that Gentiles are supposed judge Gentiles and give rulings (authoritative judgments) regarding our seven commandments and that it is imperative that we learn and study the seven commandments. So even in there, I see the Jewish ability to TEACH the Seven Commandments. But to give rulings? To make authoritative judgments and decision? Even if rabbis have the expertise (to a certain level) which qualifies them to have a educated decision, what makes them authoritative decisions? You see the difference, right? The difference between an educated opinion and an authoritative opinion?

So what overt and clear Torah source states that the rabbis or the Jews have legal authority over Gentiles, a bit like how Deuteronomy 17 gives the judges/rabbis authority over Jews, people in Israel? Because my understanding is that rabbis like Ramban say that rabbis have no such jurisdiction over Gentiles. If there is not such a jurisdiction, then is the only authority a rabbi has over a Gentile that which the Gentile gives to the rabbi?

Messages In This Thread
RE: The need for a rabbi and other questions - by excited_for_life - 01-11-2012, 11:11 PM
looking for a tutor - by AskNoah fan - 02-20-2012, 04:31 PM
RE: The need for a Rabbi and other questions - by AskNoah fan - 02-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Ger Toshav and Rambam - by amenyahu - 01-11-2013, 03:39 AM
RE: Ger Toshav and Rambam - by Director Michael - 01-13-2013, 06:26 PM
Is this an obligation? - by GentileLaw - 07-08-2015, 02:58 AM
Rabbinical Jurisdiction - by amenyahu - 01-13-2014, 11:46 PM

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