Some of us have been disappointed with our religious appointees one time or another. It may be because we felt that they are not qualified for their job or because we felt they have failed us. One could begin to make the argument that if the appointee does not fit or is not worthy of their role we may act out of school towards them.

But this could not be further from the truth!

The Talmud of the Land of Israel recounts an incident (Sanhedrin 13b) where Rabbi Yirmiya was asked slightingly by a Cuthean: “Are you the Rabbi of all of the Jews”? Suggesting that he was not worthy of that position. Rabbi Yirmiya does not disagree, but draws a parallel with a Jewish King. The Jewish King is elected by the People, rather than God, yet the People are required to show awe and reverence towards King as ultimately it is God’s will that he is elected.

The lesson we learn is that it is the post itself that is to be respected irrespective of who occupies it!

The Talmud of the Land of Israel (Sanhedrin) also teaches about the prohibition of putting down any Sage, even if it is only a specific one, even if one has reasons. Disrespect of Sages is blind. One who disrespects one will disrespect many.