I remember learning that it is also related to asking sheilos only to local rabbonim. Anyone has answer/sources? Thank you

  • Does kenei lecha chaver mean you should only have one friend? – Alex Jun 23 at 0:54
  • כל הלומד תורה מרב אחד אינו רואה סימן ברכה לעולם.... הני מילי סברא אבל גמרא מרב אחד עדיף – Alex Jun 23 at 1:12

The understanding behind this teaching from Pirkei Avos 1:6 is more to demonstrate the need for fixing for yourself a mentor and guide, so that you can learn and grow from. Unlike a friend which you should 'acquire', here the advice is to take pains to formally 'make' for yourself a Rav as this is a necessary requirement for self growth.

Rabbeinu Yonah writes:

Yehoshua ben Perachia says, "Make for yourself a mentor, acquire for yourself a friend": As even if you know [as much] as him, make him a mentor upon you, since a person remembers better what he learned from his mentor than what a person learned on his own. And also because sometimes he will understand a thing better and it will come out that he will teach him - even as they are both equal in wisdom.

Rambam notes:

"Make for yourself a mentor": He means to say even if he is not fit to be your mentor; still place him upon you as a mentor, so that you can give and take (discuss and argue) with him, and as a result of this the study of wisdom will come to your hand. As the study of a man on his own is good, but his study from someone else will be better established in his hand and it will be more clear - and even if he is like him in wisdom or below him. And so did they elucidate the explanation of this commandment.

Rabbeinu Ovadiah miBartenura does note however that one should have a fixed Rav and not flit between Rabbinic figures which would perhaps point to the need to have one Rav for asking sheilos to:

"Make for yourself a (Torah) mentor": Rambam explained, “Even though he is not fit to be your teacher, make him into your teacher and do not learn on your own.” And I heard, “'Make for yourself a teacher,' [meaning] that he should take on one teacher from which always to learn – and not learn from one today and from another one tomorrow." And even though they stated in tractate Avodah Zara 19, “One who learns from [only] one teacher will not see a sign of blessing;” they have already explained and said, “this applies to reasoning” - as it is good for him to hear the reasoning of the many - “but with concern to [memorization of traditional teachings], it is better from one teacher, so that [the student's] elocution not be damaged."

  • Thank you. So put simply we should turn to one person for halachic sheilos? – Kenny Xiong Jun 24 at 16:58
  • Yes definitely. In fact it is brought down in the sifrei halacha that you can't ask a Rov for one thing and then go to another Rov for another question if you know that they will rule more leniently – Dov Jun 24 at 18:11

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