Power of the Rabbis

Parshat שופטים discusses the power given to the rabbis in interpreting and protecting the Torah. The key words are, על פי התורה אשר יורוך, according to the Torah that THEY will teach you. The rabbis are allowed to make fences around the Torah to make it more difficult to violate a Torah law. They are also permitted to make תקנות that are decrees that they believe are for the betterment of society. An example would be the requirement to read the Torah on Mondays and Thursdays. Or, the prohibition of drinking wine handled by a non-Jew. Often people minimize the special role the rabbis have had throughout Jewish history. They were needed to help the Jewish people survive under very difficult conditions. Their wisdom was vital in helping us cope and maintain our purpose and direction. This is why Pirkei Avot tells us עשה לך רב, to make for yourself a rabbi as a guide and mentor. Your life will be better when you let a Rav in your life.