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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

The Yom Kippur Service and The Avoda of Teshuva

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 17, 1998

Parshat Acharay-Mot details the Temple service that the high priest would perform every Yom Kippur. Today, the description of the Temple service forms the center of the communal Yom Kippur Musaf prayer, and the Torah reading on Yom Kippur is taken from the parsha of Acharay-Mot. Yet the Temple service seems irrelevant to us today. Continue Reading »

Slander and its Consequences

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 10, 1998

The parsha of Metzora details laws of impurity, a state that would prevent a person from entering the Temple and, in some cases, from entering the Israelite camp. Tzara’at, often mistranslated as “leprosy,” was a supernatural spotting that could appear on a person’s house, clothes, or body. If the person’s body had such a spot, he Continue Reading »

Brit Milah, Covenant and Partnership

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 4, 1998

Parshat Tazria details many laws of purity and impurity which, for the most part, are not relevant today. However, it begins with the laws of childbirth and the mitzvah of brit milah, of circumcising Jewish males on the eighth day. What is the purpose of the brit milah? Literally, the words mean covenant (brit) of circumcision (milah). What Continue Reading »

Holiness, Self-Restraint, and Personal Growth

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on March 28, 1998

Parshat Shmini opens with the culmination of the process of inducting Aaron and his sons into the priesthood. For seven days they had offered the same sacrifices and repeated the same ritual. Now, on the eighth day, a special ceremony was performed to inaugurate the sanctuary and their role in it as priests. When the Continue Reading »

Mitzvot, Monotony, and Meaning

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on March 21, 1998

Parshat Tzav continues with a discussion of the sacrifices to be brought in the Sanctuary, this time from the perspective of the priests that do the service. It concludes with a seven-day induction of Aaron and his sons into the priestly order. The parsha opens with the following verses: “The Lord spoke to Moses saying: Continue Reading »

A Mitzvah of Belief?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 2, 1998

In parshat Yitro, we reach the climax of the Exodus story. It has been just seven short weeks since God demonstrated His might to the Egyptians and Israelites, and now the Children of Israel arrive at Mount Sinai to directly encounter God, receive His commandments, and become a people, His people. Amidst the thunder and lightening Continue Reading »

Faith in God, Not Playing God

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 15, 1997

Parsha Vayigash opens with the climactic moment in the Joseph saga. After having forced his brothers to bring down Benjamin by holding Simeon captive, Joseph plants his silver chalice in Benjamin’s bags and demands that Benjamin remain in Egypt as his slave. This parsha opens with Judah’s heartfelt entreaty to Joseph to spare Benjamin’s life Continue Reading »

The Test of God’s Silence

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 22, 1997

Chaye Sarah relates the events of Abraham’s life that follow the akedah, the binding of Isaac. Sarah, Abraham’s wife of many years, dies and Abraham acquires a burial plot for her in the land of Cannan. Abraham then sends his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, and, on the successful completion of Continue Reading »