I often have Halachic questions that upon approaching local Orthodox rabbonim, I don't feel comfortable with their psak. I know enough to know that they don't have a complete grasp of halacha but I don't know enough to deal with the questions on my own. I have no problem accepting the psak and moving on but I really wish I could approach someone approaching the level of Rav Moshe Feinstein who had everything at his fingertips. Are there any leading poskim (ones who have a complete mastery of all areas of halacha) who are easily accessible for the regular guy on the street?

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    I wouldn't aim for the leading poskim of the generation. There is more of a middle road - very learned, great talmidei chachamim and poskim, who know far more than your local Orthodox rabbi (I would guess, without knowing where you live) who are very accessible. Find someone who lives reasonably locally and inquire when you can speak to him. If he doesn't know, he will himself pass it on to the "greatest poskim".
    – Miriam
    Jan 12, 2017 at 9:53
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    This is a touchy situation, and I'm not referring to the politics involved with, esp. congregational rabbis. Sometimes, this interferes with their ability to issue an acceptable answer to your situation. The problem is that you're not supposed to go rabbi shopping. However, if you knew a source that clearly disproved what the rabbi said, you could respectfully challenge him. Your first sentence sounds like you already have a bias prior to your asking the question. If that's the case, don't ask that person in the first place. Please explain WHY you're "uncomfortable".
    – DanF
    Jan 12, 2017 at 15:24
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    I've been able to contact Rabbi David Feinstein relatively easily, during the 2 or 3 times that I needed him. Rav Moshe Tendler was also relatively easily accessible. Years ago, I needed his opinion on a medical question. Having said this, I think you should edit your question to give us a sense of why you think you would be more accepting of their opinion vs. a local rav. There's some info that I think is missing, here.
    – DanF
    Jan 12, 2017 at 15:28
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    @MarkA. What do you think would happen if everyone only asked their questions of the top rabbi of the generation? Have you ever read Exodus 18? It's worth a read. The system is around for a reason, and is the traditional Jewish practice. Good local rabbis know their limitations, and will direct you upward when necessary.
    – Double AA
    Jan 12, 2017 at 23:50
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    @SAH I haven't had to use a bet din other than to ask a "historical" question related to my parents' unique ketubah (it was written for 2 deaf people and involved the bet din to intervene. Fascinating halacha!) As I understand, the bet din's function is involved mainly in conversions and gittin as well as arbitration of civil disputes. Sometimes, as in the above, they are involve in ketubot. But, I don't think their function is in sho'el umeishiv - answering halachic questions.
    – DanF
    Jan 13, 2017 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


Although there is no substitute for a personal Rav who understands one's own specific situation, if someone is in a difficult situation then I have found http://dinonline.org/ to be a strong group of talmidei chachamim and dayanim who can answer questions over email or the phone. Within just a couple days, they can relay your question to the gedolei haposkim in Eretz Yisrael for guidance too.


Rav Shlomo Miller shlita, a posek in Canada and one of the contemporary gedolei hador Web site: "frumtoronto" (send the questions to his assistant and he will get back to you in about a week or so)

There are other Web sites that answer questions, but Rav Miller is the only one I know of where you can get an answer from a gadol.

You can also go to various rabbis in person.

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