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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

Birkat HaMazon and the Oral Torah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 2, 2018

Sefat Emet teaches that those who were to enter the Land of Israel would be the beginning of the Oral Torah – the taking of the Divine word and interpreting it and applying it to the lived reality of their lives. …

To Believe or to Have Faith

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on July 26, 2018

The Ten Commandments open with the declaration “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of land of Egypt.” This is often understood to be a mitzvah of belief. Is there such a mitzvah? And what do we mean by belief anyway?…

Fasting for Pregnant and Nursing Women – a teshuvah by Rabbi Nahum Rabbinovitch

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on July 19, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Shulkhan Arukh (OH 554:5) states simply that pregnant and nursing women must fast on Tishah b’Av. Is this indeed the case?  What if she is concerned about her health, or the health of the baby? Is it permitted only if she is first feeling weak?…

The Surrogacy Episode, Joy of Text 3:10

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on July 11, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

On the Season 3 Finale we interview a Jewish woman who made the decision to be a surrogate and carry a child for someone else, with the support of her husband and their three young children. Carrie and Jamie Bornstein share personally and poignantly about what it means to help another couple become parents, and how their kids and their community dealt with this new reality.…

May the Humra Di’R. Zeira be Relaxed in Cases of Halakhic Infertility?

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper (Posted on June 18, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Introduction “Halakhic infertility” occurs when observance of hilkhot niddah results in a woman ovulating only during the days that wife and husband are forbidden to be physically intimate. These situations result from post-biblical stringencies that lengthen the time of prohibition. This article discusses whether a couple may cease observing one such stringency, the humra di’R.…

Rema’s Understanding of Reheating Liquid Foods on Shabbat

Rabbanit Devorah Zlochower (Posted on May 23, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Introduction The mishnah in Shabbat 145b states: “Anything that has been prepared in hot water prior to Shabbat, may be immersed in hot water on Shabbat.” From here we learn the principle of ein bishul ahar bishul (one does not violate the Biblical prohibition of cooking when reheating food that has already been cooked).…

Is There Anything I May Do on Shabbat to Prepare for Yom Tov?

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on May 16, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

  This weekend, we will celebrate another marathon holiday – Shabbat followed by Shavuot. Shavuot, occurring later in spring, presents its own challenges of time: each day of the holiday, as with all yamim tovim, does not begin until dark, but as preparing for one day of the holiday on the previous one (or on Shabbat for Yom Tov) is forbidden, any preparations not done before the holiday may not begin until very late in the evening.…

Is My Electric Shaver Kosher?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 3, 2018

QUESTION:  Can I shave with an electric shaver and are all models permissible? ANSWER:  In two separate verses, the Torah prohibits men to shave their beards.  In parashat Kedoshim, the Torah states: “You shall not destroy (tashchit) the corners of your beards,” (Vayikra 19:27). …

Rachel’s Cry: Single Women and Pru U’rvu

Amy Pollak (Posted on May 2, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

To read this teshuva in hebrew click here: Should community resources be allocated to help an older single woman become pregnant using artificial insemination?[1] Rav Shlomo Aviner addresses this question as follows: Question: A single woman, about forty years old, who realistically doesn’t expect to marry and wishes, with all her soul, to have a child to love and devote herself  to – is she permitted halakhically to use artificial insemination to bear a child?…

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth? – Part 2

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 26, 2018

May a husband hold his wife’s hand or give her a massage during childbirth, according to halakhah?  We began to answer this question last week and came to the following interim conclusions: A pregnant woman is not considered to be in niddah until either she experiences uterine bleeding (distinct from mere stains), or until a limb of the baby emerges from the womb. …

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth?  – Part 1

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 19, 2018

QUESTION:  I am nine months pregnant, and my husband and I have been doing Lamaze classes to prepare for the birth of our baby.  Part of the Lamaze method includes pressure massage and massage of the abdomen.  I have been told, though, that it is forbidden by halakhah for my husband to do this because I will be in niddah at that time. …

Rachel’s Cry: Single Women and Pru U’rvu (Hebrew)

Amy Pollak (Posted on April 19, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

To read this teshuva in english click here:…