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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Moadim/Holidays

Setting Up to Move Out

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 21, 2015

Prepared for publication from remarks made at the 2015 YCT Annual Tribute Dinner in honor of Sharon and Steven Lieberman. Many people today would be happy to set up camp at the foot of Har Sinai permanently. Just think about what it was like: We had received all the mitzvot; the Mishkan was built; the sacrifices were being offered on a regular basis; and the camp’s boundaries had been delineated, and it was protected.…

Who are the Main Characters of the Hagaddah?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 1, 2015

The central mitzvah of the Seder night is sippur yitziyat Mitzrayim, telling the story of the exodus from Egypt. The simplest way to do this would be to open Shemot and read the narrative directly from the Torah. This experience would certainly be more engaging than reading the story in the Haggadah – there is greater detail in the Torah, the plot is more dramatic, and, as one of my students recently pointed out, there are the characters, the actors who make the story interesting.…

The Weight of Sin

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 2, 2014

Sin and atonement are very abstract, colorless concepts. When we discuss such things, we tend to do so in relation to other abstract concepts: “Sin is an act of transgressing God’s will or commandment; atonement is the act of divine forgiveness, or of becoming reconciled and at one with God.” All of this is true, but spoken about this way, these concepts remain without shape and form.…

The Teshuva of Kingship

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on September 23, 2014

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, many of us are preparing for this Day of Judgment by engaging in the traditional process of teshuvah, of repentance. This process, as described by the Rabbis, is one that is focused inward. It involves serious self-reflection: assessing our behavior over the past year, truly regretting our sins and misdeeds, and committing to act differently in the future.…

A Thought on Pesach

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 11, 2014

I would like  to share the following thought for Pesach in memory of Rivka Haut, z”l, who passed away a little over a week ago.  Rivka was, as a recent obituary put it, a fearless warrior, a warrior for the cause for justice for agunot and for creating a space for women within the Orthodox community.…

A thought for Shabbat Shuva and Yom Kippur

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on September 21, 2012

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 the Divine gift of atonement.…

The Obligations of Tzedek

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted 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 the culmination of seven weeks from the beginning of the harvest season that occurs on the second day of Pesach.…

A Dynamic Faith of Gratitude

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 18, 2012

Yom Yerushalayim and Shavuot are celebrated a week apart. These celebrations mark two tremendous gifts that have been bestowed upon us: the gift of a unified Jerusalem as part of the State of Israel and under Jewish control, that we received only 45 years ago, and the gift of the Torah, that we received over 3000 years ago.…

The Seder without the Korban Pesach

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 5, 2012

The seder is one of the most powerful religious experiences of the year, attracting a large percentage of unaffiliated and secular Jews: 70% of American Jews and 80% of secular Israeli Jews say they will attend a seder this year. Even for religious and observant Jews, the seder is a profound event, a night that, certainly as children but even for adults, we eagerly anticipate and whose memory we cherish.…

Yosef the Tzaddik, Religious Arrogance and the Miracle of Chanukkah

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on December 23, 2011

Yosef is known throughout Rabbinic literature as “Yosef the Tzaddik.”  This phrase alludes to the verse in Amos (2:6), “their selling the Tzaddik for silver”, which is understood to be referring to brother’s selling Yosef for the 30 pieces of silver. …

Cleaning the Temple, Cleaning our World

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 6, 2011

This is an emended piece that I wrote on Yom Kippur and the Temple Service which was originally published in the Jerusalem Post Magazine, on Sept 28, 2008. “For on this day he shall atone for you to purify you; that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” (Lev.…

Mesechet Chullin and Yom Kippur: Becoming Tahor

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 6, 2011

The Gemara Chullin (101a-b) compares the relative severity of the prohibition against a ritually pure (tahor) person who eats the meat of a sacrifice that has become impure (tamei) and the prohibition against a tamei person eating the meat of a tahor sacrifice. …