Originally published on 6/11/11, 9:56 pm.
I've witnessed the following debate among several colleagues.
A. Rabbis should hold themselves to the same Kashrut standards as their communities; that is the law is the same for all
B. Rabbis should hold themselves to a higher standard, because if they take advantage of some leniencies, their congregations will exploit them even more. Give them an inch and they'll take a foot. Alternatively, the trickle down theory, if Rabbis observe at EG level #9, then congregants might make it to #7. But, If Rabbis start at #7 then congregants will be reduced to #5.
The Talmud in Moed Katan strongly suggests that an Adam Hashuv IS held to a higher standard and is EXPECTED to refrain from what is permitted at least in cases that present a side of prohibition.
It seems obvious to me that pulpit rabbis therefore need to be aware of this G'mara and wary of taking advantage of too many kullot
Kein Nireh Lee.