I happened on these thoughts at the site (wine women and transcendence) of a visitor to my blog. It rang true not just for Judaism but also for every religious group and every secular cause organization.
It has always been a pleasure for me to get an insight from different perspectives. If something has been organized and money and/or power is at all involved, rest assured that some individuals have perverted them for his or her own benefit.
If you want to check out this blog, go to kantfries.blogspot.com.
Fake rebbis, babas, and kabalists thrive in a society which has not understood the true teachings of Torah. Therefore Jews and other sections of the society which provide the opportunity and fertile ground for fraudsters in the guise of rebbis to thrive in the name of torah are equally at fault. Ignorant, miracle and fortune-seeking followers are the ones who help such fake rebbis to prosper in our society. Before Going to a Rebbi read the Torah – the Greatest Guru The Torah narrates the essence of Jewish spirituality But majority of the Hindus have no time to read the verses but spend thousands of rupees, hard earned money, energy and time visiting rebbis and spiritual centers of such fake babas and rebbis.
2. Is loyalty to Torah and Reason placed before loyalty to the rabbi or Orthodoxy?
3. Does your rabbi encourage questions and suggestions? Is he approachable?
4. Does your rabbi give equal attention to all kinds of people in his congregation?
5. Is there ever any pressure put upon members to give or lend money to leaders for their personal or business use (exclusive of synagogue business or projects)?
6. Does your rabbi avoid boasting or hinting at a “Daat Torah”?
7. Is your rabbi truly humble?
8. Are the sermons based on clear Torah truths, not on “original revelations” or ax-grinding?
9. Does your synagogue interact with other synagogue?
10. Does your synagogue staff avoid secrecy?
11. Is power shared in your synagogue (rather than preempted by a hierarchy)?
12. Does your synagogue see itself as just one organ of Judaism, and not the main one?
13. Is your synagogue truly friendly?
14. Does your synagogue emphasize kindness to people rather than synagogue programs?
15. Are especially needy people cared for lovingly in your synagogue?
16. Are synagogue members encouraged and loved even when they leave?
17. Are relationships with former members encouraged or allowed?
18. Do the rabbi and congregation avoid attacking and using as object lessons, former members or those who disagree?
19. Are families encouraged to stay together and spend time together?
20. Are your children happy to attend synagogue?
21. Are you happy to bring unsaved friends to your synagogue?
22. Is there a diversity of classes, races, dress styles, ages, and occupations in your synagogue?
23. Are people encouraged to think for themselves?
24. Is there a single behavior standard for all people in the synagogue?
25. Are all types of people considered welcome at your synagogue?
26. Is the joy of learning Torah present in your synagogue?
27. Are you free from fear in your synagogue?
28. Do you think more about God than you do about your Tadik – rabbi?
29. Does your rabbi include himself in any calls for repentance and forgiveness?
30. Are you clear that the rabbis and elders never exaggerate or lie to make themselves look good?
31. Is your group encouraging of each other and free from gossip and rumoring?
32. Is there a humility of teachings that points to the kindness God and His mercy?
33. Are you encouraged to serve the Jewish people outside the local group?
34. Does your rabbi readily admit his errors?
Let me just say that I have almost never found any of these things in a ny shul except at the Mir yeshiva in brooklyn.