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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Tzedakah & Social Justice

Who Teaches Torah to Your Nation Israel

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 4, 2017

This is a speech delivered by Rabbi Dov Linzer at the YCT Annual Tribute Dinner in March 2017 Barukh atah Hashem ha’melamed Torah li’amo Yisrael.  Blessed are You God who teaches Torah to your nation, Israel. This second birkhat ha’Torah follows אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לעסוק בדברי תורה, the mitzvah-blessing for Torah study. For while Continue Reading »

Letakein Olam Be-Malkhut Sha-dai

by Rabbi Chanoch Waxman Posted on December 9, 2016

Amos: Prophet of Social Justice

by Rabbi Hayyim Angel Posted on October 21, 2016

Friends, Romans, Countrymen: Lend Me Your Money

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 26, 2016

If asked which mitzvah obligates us to help the poor, we would immediately respond, “The mitzvah of tzedakah.” There’s only one problem: no such mitzvah exists in the Torah. Nowhere in the Torah does it say that if a poor person asks us for money, we must give it to him. But wait, you say, Continue Reading »

Mitzvah of Lending Money

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 6, 2016

Loaning as a Mitzvah Is there a mitzvah to loan money?  Many of us would think that the answer is “no” – it’s not real tzedakah, because the person has to give the money back in the end.  What is obvious to us is that there is a mitzvah of tzedakah – giving money to Continue Reading »

Jewish Social Justice: A Universalist Mandate?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 8, 2016

In halakha, our obligations towards the other are mostly, if not exclusively, directed towards our fellow Jews.  In other lectures [hyperlink here to Circles of Responsibility and to the Jew-Gentile lectures that are relevant], we explore to what extent there is a basis in halakha for an obligation of assistance and support towards Gentiles as Continue Reading »

Social Justice– Mandate or Mixed Message?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 5, 2016

Many Jews champion social justice as a Torah mandate of tikkun olam.  This term contains two notions – one, a universalist ethos, a care for the world at large, and not just the Jewish community.  And two, it is a call to address the deep, systemic problems within society – to get at the root Continue Reading »

Social Justice– Circles of Responsibility

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 5, 2016

The Torah in many places obligates us to take care of our “brother”.  It is clear from many verses that this word often does not mean generically “another person,” but specifically someone of our tribe – a fellow member of the people of Israel.   Does this mean that we have no responsibility to those who Continue Reading »

Social Justice and Jewish Leadership

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 5, 2016

Two major figures in the Torah – Moshe and Avraham – act in ways to protect others who are being oppressed, even those who are not their own people.  In this way, that can serve as a model for a religious leadership that incorporates a vision of a universalist social justice. We look at these Continue Reading »

Shavuot: Chag v’Chesed

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on July 5, 2016

The holiday of Shavuot is generally assumed to commemorate the giving of the Torah, which occurred on the sixth of Sivan. In the Torah, however, Shavuot is only described as an agricultural holiday and occurs not on any particular calendrical date, but at the culmination of seven weeks from the beginning of the harvest season Continue Reading »

The Obligations of Tzedek

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 24, 2012

(An earlier version of this appeared in the 5769 AJWS Chag v’Chesed) The holiday of Shavuot is generally assumed to commemorate the giving of the Torah, which occurred on the sixth of Sivan. In the Torah, however, Shavuot is only described as an agricultural holiday and occurs not on any particular calendrical date, but at Continue Reading »