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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Moadim/Holidays

Circumcision and Korban Pesach

by Rabbi Ysoscher Katz Posted on July 5, 2016

To read this Hebrew article, click here.

It’s Never Too Late

by Rabbi Avi Weiss Posted on July 5, 2016

God has blessed Toby and me with three wonderful children: Dena, Elana and Dov. We were also blessed with a fourth child born between Elana and Dov.  His name was Yitzchak Rafael.  It will be 40 years ago this coming December that Yitzchak Rafael came into this world.  He was affected with a dreadful genetic Continue Reading »

Chanuka and Purim – A Study of Their Differences

by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot Posted on July 5, 2016

From a purely halakhic point of view, we generally regard Chanuka and Purim as equal in status. Both festivals are de-rabanan (rabbinically mandated), and the issue of “pirsum ha-nes” (publicizing the miracle) is central to both of them. This trend of thought finds expression in the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. As opposed to the other festivals, the halakhot of which Continue Reading »

Women and The Reading of the Megillah

by Rabbi Avi Weiss Posted on July 5, 2016

May women read the Megillah for other women, and for that matter, may women read the Megillah for men? This was originally written for the Torah U-Maddah Journal in 1999. Click here to read the full piece.

Ten Spiritual Kernels For The Yamim Nora’im

by Rabbi Avi Weiss Posted on July 5, 2016

Please enjoy this recording of a High Holidays Sermon that Rav Avi gave in California last month. Click here for the PDF source sheet. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

The Hidden Message of the Four Children

by Rabbi Avi Weiss Posted on May 25, 2016

The literal approach to the Haggadah’s four children is straightforward. On four different occasions, the Torah describes questions asked by children about Passover. Based on the language of the question, the author of the Haggadah labels each of them. One questioner is described as wise, the second rebellious, the third simple, and the fourth not Continue Reading »

Maintaining the Purity of Shoah Memory

by Rabbi Avi Weiss Posted on May 25, 2016

Survivors of the Shoah encounter the experience through what can be called “pure memory.” Their relationship to the event is direct, with very little intervening. As we move further away from the Shoah, and we who were not there seek to remember, symbols may be required to help us. It is in this realm that Continue Reading »

Holy Imperfection

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 5, 2016

Acharei-Mot details the special avodah, the sacrificial rites, that the High Priest performed on Yom Kippur to affect atonement for the Jewish people. However, as the Vilna Gaon noted in Kol Eliyahu, the Torah only introduces the connection to Yom Kippur at the very end of the lengthy description of this special avodah. The framing of the avodah is not Continue Reading »

Who Invited Matzah?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 21, 2016

A major part of what makes the Seder evening so powerful is the way in which the symbolic mitzvot—reclining, dipping, drinking four cups of wine, eating the marror and the matzah—bring the Pesach story to life and how the story, in turn, gives depth and meaning to these mitzvot and rituals. At the center of Continue Reading »

Have You Done Your Korban Pesach Yet?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 1, 2016

Parashat Parah commemorates the process of purification that would precede the bringing of the korban Pesach. Appropriately, sometimes we read it at the end of Parashat Shmini, which describes how, after the completion of the dedication of the altar, the sacrifices would henceforth be desired and received in Heaven: “And there came a fire out Continue Reading »

Reading God in the Megillah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on March 23, 2016

We often speak of the clergy as “klei kodesh,” literally, “holy vessels.” There is something beautiful about this as it allows us to see them as vessels for connecting with God. But at the same time, there is something dehumanizing about this label. It transforms clergy from subjects to objects, taking away their personhood and Continue Reading »

Piety and Power – A Combustible Mix

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 10, 2015

The gemara asks, “What is Chanuka?” (Tractate Shabbat, 21b). The answer given is well known: the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. But according to Maharal, this answer makes no sense (Hidushei Aggadot, ad loc.). First, since when do we have holidays to celebrate miracles? Holidays celebrate days of national/religious significance – exodus, Continue Reading »