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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Moadim/Holidays

Time to Build the Sukkah!

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
(Posted on October 14, 2016)

There is a practice to build the sukkah immediately following Yom Kippur, to begin involving ourselves with mitzvot as soon as possible so as to turn our teshuva process into action.  But building a sukkah is not just one mitzvah of many mitzvot; it can be seen as a model of how we can live Continue Reading »

To Lead, Perchance to Dream

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
(Posted on September 29, 2016)

In memory of Shimon Peres, z”l, 1923-2016 The people about to enter the Land of Israel are different than those who left Egypt a generation earlier. These people were born free from slavery and can face the future without fear. They have forged a deep and lasting relationship with God over forty years in the Continue Reading »

Why Doesn’t Yom Kippur Come Before Rosh HaShana?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
(Posted on September 25, 2016)

The relationship between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is both obvious and complex. Obvious, in that Divine judgment and forgiveness are closely connected – we recognize that there is no one who can justify him or herself to their Creator, and thus a day of judgment requires a day of forgiveness which brings with it Continue Reading »

Why Do We Light?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
(Posted on September 13, 2016)

  The purpose of lighting Hanukkah candles is פרסומי ניסא which translates into creating a communal feeling of participating in the miracle. This participation needs to be more tangible than it is right now. I offer two ways of making פרסומי ניסא relevant. One, that we need to let Hanukkah be a reminder that we Continue Reading »

A Tale of Two Seders: Are We Defined by Law or Narrative?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
(Posted on September 12, 2016)

The question of studying halakha vs. telling the story at Seder Pesach influences the way we understand our own obligation to know and study the halakha. It is clear that the halakha tells us to tell the story and does not tell us to study the halakhot. Based on the discussion of the four sons Continue Reading »

Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat? Jewish Identity and the Mitzvot of Pesach.

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
(Posted on September 12, 2016)

Although there are parts of Pesach and the Seder that are exclusive, their true purpose is to bond the Jewish people together more closely as a unit. Recent research about addiction indicates that social alienation and lack of feeling bonded, a part of something, makes people deeply vulnerable to addiction as well as other social Continue Reading »

Should Mordechai Have Bowed?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
(Posted on September 9, 2016)

The Peshat of the Megillah is that Mordechai didn’t bow to Haman because of personal rivalry, family hostility, and ethnic pride. I seriously question, considering the consequences, if these reasons are justified. In other words, if that’s the only reason he didn’t want to bow, he really should have. However, Chazal say that maybe the Continue Reading »

Rain, Rain Go Away?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
(Posted on September 7, 2016)

The thought came to me when I began this daf that an important theme has dropped out of Sukkot the way we celebrate it: the theme of water. At the time of Chazal, and even more so in the time of the Second Temple, Sukkot was largely about doing rituals and praying for a rainy Continue Reading »

How Could We be Commanded to Commit Genocide?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
(Posted on September 6, 2016)

Amalek, as it appears in the פשט of the תנ”ך and in חז”ל and the later Midrashim is a tribe that raids others both for status and for economic necessity. The only way to be safe from a tribe with this kind of predatory culture is to destroy it entirely because any remnant will rebuild Continue Reading »

Responses to the Churban: Crying, Laughing and Taking Action

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
(Posted on August 10, 2016)

The most immediate response to the destruction of the Temple was crying, sorrow and lamentations – a response that we try to relive on Tisha b’Av.  But it is not possible, certainly on a national level, for the sense of tragedy and loss to dominate and define our religious life.  We thus find that soon Continue Reading »

Saying Al Ha’Nissim on Yom Ha’atzmaut

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on August 5, 2016)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

The Mitzvah of Shofar

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
(Posted on August 4, 2016)

This shiur focuses on the question of whether the mitzvah of shofar on Rosh HaShana is to blow or to hear the shofar. In addition to addressing some of the halakhic aspects of that question, it attempts to see how the טעמי המצוה interact with its halakhic formulation, and how this enables a fuller way Continue Reading »

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