I was learning with my chevruta about how one should not keep Chumrahs that one's Rabbi or community doesn’t keep. I can’t remember where I learnt it. Would anyone have a reference?

  • Given @DoubleAA's link, it seems that this may be a problem if displayed publically, only. But, I know of numerous rabbis who are lenient in many areas while a significant number of the congregants are stringent. E.g. the rav is not stringent on eating only chalav or pat Yisra'el or Glatt Kosher, yet almost all the congregants are. Is that a problem? Or, are you addressing stringencies in specific areas or categories? – DanF Oct 29 '19 at 14:18

In Betzah 36b, a bad thing happens to Abaye, and he thinks this is punishment for "having gone against the words of my master, Rabba".

How is this relevant? Jews who observe a rule most other Jews do not observe fall into two categories:

(1) Those who believe their rule is halacha and the others are breaking halacha.

(2) Those who believe their rule is not halacha. but that there is value in following some extra-halachic rules.

If their rabbi does NOT follow that same rule, then one of two things:

(1) They disagree with their rabbi on halacha. (Which is not allowed.)

(2) They disagree with their rabbi on the value of some extra-halachic rules. (Which may or may not be allowed.)

Therefore, whether what they are doing is right or wrong depends on what they believe they are doing.

As for the definition of the word "chumrah", some say it's (1) and others say it's (2). This article distinguishes between chumrot based on halacha and chumrot required by halacha, implying that the word just means "stringency".

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    Where do we see that Abaye was trying to follow a Chumrah that his Rabbi wasn't keeping? From what I'm seeing, it looks like Abaye was disagreeing on a matter of Halacha (not just Chumrah), and that's why he said he was punished. – Salmononius2 Jun 17 '19 at 23:45
  • @Salmononius2 -- Could one not interpret the passage as caution against disagreeing with your rabbi on ANY matter having to do with Jewish observance? – Maurice Mizrahi Jun 18 '19 at 0:31
  • I definitely don't see that as the plain reading. – Salmononius2 Jun 18 '19 at 1:13
  • @Salmononius2 -- Aren't the two one and the same? Those who hold by a chumrah believe it's halacha, so if you follow a chumrah your rabbi doesn't follow, you are disaghreeing with him on halacha. – Maurice Mizrahi Jun 18 '19 at 13:38
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    That's literally the opposite of the definition of Chumrah. – Salmononius2 Jun 18 '19 at 13:41

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