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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

When Bacon Falls on the Food: Is Taste or Quantity the Issue?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 22, 2010

If there is a mixture of kosher and non-kosher food, how are we to determine whether the non-kosher food can be tasted?  The Mishna and Gemara speak of two ways to measure this – one, by actually tasting – te’ima, and the other, by a quantitative approximation – the standard of 1/60th.   The question is Continue Reading »

When Bacon Falls on the Food: How Treif is Taste?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 15, 2010

While in our previous study of Kashrut we studied the concept of yavesh bi’yavesh – mixtures of distinct entities, here we address the more common case of lach bi’lach -mixtures in which the forbidden food is totally intermixed with, and whose taste is completely dispersed within, the permissible food.   Because the forbidden food is completely intermixed, it is easier Continue Reading »

When Bacon Falls on the Food: Bitul of Dry Food

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 8, 2010

The underlying principle of almost the entire field of practical Kashrut is that of bitul – the ability of a food to be considered “nullified” when it is mixed with other foods, assuming that it does not impart any taste, that it is not noten ta’am. This is intuitively understandable when, say, a drop of Continue Reading »

The Evolution of the Mitzvah of Matzah

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on March 19, 2010

 While we rule that it is a mitzvah d’oraitta to eat matzah on the seder night, it is far from clear as far as the simple sense of the verses are concerned. It is interesting to see how Hazal interpreted the verses to come to this conclusion. Regarding matzah, the verses talk of two mitzvot: (a) to eat matzah Continue Reading »

A Pseudo-Korban Pesach

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on March 12, 2010

There is good evidence that the practice of a pseudo-korban pesach existed – not on bringing it on Har HaBayit without a Beit HaMikdash, but outside of the environs of the Beit HaMikdash and Jerusalem. The Tosefta in Ohalot (3:9) tells of a burial that took place in Beit Dagan on erev Pesach. The men, who had not Continue Reading »

Korban Pesach Nowadays

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on March 5, 2010

Parshat Parah, a special maftir read before pesach, is read to remind us of the period of purification that preceded the bringing of the korban Pesach on the 14th of Nissan. While for most of us, this is a reminder of a thousands-year-old practice that became obsolete with the destruction of the Temple, this is not true Continue Reading »

Is the Ketuvah d’Oraitta or d’Rabanan?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on February 19, 2010

There is a debate in the gemara (Ketuvot 10a) whether the ketuvah is mi’di’orraita, Biblical, or mi’di’rabanan, rabbinic. The position that ketuvah is Biblically-based is an individual one, that of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and he even states this position somewhat tentatively – mikan samkhu li’ktuvat isha min haTorah, from here the Rabbis found support Continue Reading »

Two Stages of Marriage

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on February 12, 2010

As is well known, there are two stages of marriage, kiddushin and nissuin. Kiddushin is referred to in the Torah as erusin, and nissuin is referred to as either kicha, taking (“Who is the man who has betrothed a woman and not taken her” – Deut 20:7) or beulat ba’al, a woman who has had Continue Reading »

Formalism and Reality in Hilkhot Niddah

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on February 5, 2010

One of the lesser well-known laws of niddah requires that husband and wife separate from sex on the day (or night) that the wife is expecting to get her period. This day is called the veset, and this requirement is learned from the verse “And you shall separate the Children of Israel from their impurity” (Lev. Continue Reading »

Kiddushin as a Speech Act

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on January 29, 2010

The act of kiddushin, the giving of the ring, is accompanied by a verbal statement – harei at mekudeshet li bi’taba’at zo ki’dat Moshe vi’Yisrael, “behold you are betrothed to me with this ring, according to the laws of Moshe and Israel.” On the face of it, this expression would appear to be nothing more Continue Reading »

Kiddushin: Acquisition or Partnership?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on January 22, 2010

When studying kiddushei kesef – kiddushin through the giving of an object of value – one must ask: is kiddushin is an actual kinyan, act of acquisition, or not? The two sides of this question can be seen in the development of the practice of giving a ring. There is no early evidence to this practice. It Continue Reading »

Birkhat Eirusin: Birkhat Ha’Mitzvah or Birkhat Ha’Shevach?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on January 15, 2010

Birkhat eirusin, the blessing made prior to the giving of the ring, is directly tied to how we define the religious significance of the institution of marriage. Regarding the brakha itself, the Talmud (Ketuvot 7b) records the text of the brakha and a debate as to whether we close it with a final brakha (which is Continue Reading »