Recently, YNetNews posted a pressing article regarding whether or not Rabbis should be active on Facebook. The concern there was whether or not positions of authority like Rabbis should be “chummy” to followers. After all, doesn’t familiarity breed contempt?
The difference in the end really lied with the diaspora Rabbis attitude versus that of the Rabbis in Israel. Rabbis in Chutz La’Aretz seem to come across as more laid back than their Israeli counterparts. A Rabbi in the US for example will go to a Knicks game whereas a Rabbi in Israel won’t go to a Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game. For some reason, one is just more “spiritually wrong” than the other.
Living in the Diaspora, I can see where a Rabbi needs to be more “down to the level” of his students. In Israel, those without a religious identity still have a strong Jewish identity, whereas in Chutz La’aretz one without a religious identity might be more prone to intermarry with Christine and celebrate Santa Claus. A Rabbi in Chutz La’Aretz therefore unwittingly must take on the task of being Me’Karev others through these means. Going to games, friending others on Facebook therefore falls under this category.