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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

Abortion in Halakha: A Study Guide

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on February 7, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Halakhic Parameters of Abortion: A Study Guide Guided Questions for Chavruta Learning Sources 1-7 were covered in the previous sheet.  Look at sources 8-12.  Do they indicate that a fetus has the legal status / protections of a human life or not? …

Why Are We Doing This and Why Does it Matter?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 31, 2019

The enterprise of ta’amei ha’mitzvot, trying to identify the values that underlie the mitzvot, is an important although potentially dangerous one.  The importance lies in the fact that it helps us actualize those values both in the performance of the mitzvot and in other areas of our lives. …

Hair Covering Episode, Joy of Text 4:03

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on January 25, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

These sources accompany the hair covering episode of the Joy of Text podcast.   A. Nature of Obligation The verse in Numbers {source ‎1} implies that women (perhaps specifically married women) would normally have their head covered. This point is made explicit from Sifrei {source ‎2}, which emphasizes the fact that this was a norm, and does not frame it as an obligation. …

Tu B’Shevat and Creative Destruction

Rabbi Avram Schwartz (Posted on January 21, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank (1873-1960) is best known as the chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem. He was born and raised in Lithuania, where he studied at Slobodka and Telz, two of the world’s most prominent yeshivot before the war. After making aliyah, he became a part of the rabbinic establishment of the old yishuv, while also building a close connection with Rav Kook, becoming part of his circle of intimates along with Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook, Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Charlap, and the Nazir, Rabbi David Cohen.…

Iggros Moshe A to Z: G is for Gender

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on January 14, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Episode 23 Rabbi Linzer looks at a famous teshuvah of Rav Moshe that takes on the challenge from feminism to the role of women in halakha and Jewish life. Why are women not obligated equally? Can halakha change to accommodate shifting social realities?…

Iggros Moshe A to Z: F is for Fertility

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on December 31, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Episode 20 Rabbi Linzer looks at a teshuvah about whether a testicular biopsy for the purpose of aiding a man’s fertility makes him a petzuah daka – injured in a way that would prohibit him from marrying. Along the way, Rav Moshe makes astonishing claims about the relationship between science and halakhic change.…

Rav Hisda’s Seduction Advice to His Daughters, Joy of Text 4:02

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on December 26, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

These sources accompany the seduction episode of the Joy of Text podcast. 1. Shabbat, 140b בבלי מסכת שבת דף קמ עמוד ב אמר להו רב חסדא לבנתיה: תיהוי צניעתן באפי גברייכו, לא תיכלון נהמא באפי גברייכו, לא תיכלון ירקא בליליא, לא תיכלון תמרי בליליא, ולא תשתון שיכרא בליליא, ולא תיפנון היכא דמפני גברייכו.…

Lighting Hanukkah Candles with Electric Lights: A Teshuvah from Rav Yaakov Moshe Toledano

Rabbi Avram Schwartz (Posted on December 4, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Toledano (1880-1960), author of Responsa Yam HaGadol, was a Sepharadi rabbi and posek. He served Jewish communities in his hometown of Tiberias, in Tangier, Cairo, and finally Tel Aviv, where he served as the Sepharadi chief rabbi. In 1958, he was appointed the Minister of Religions.…

Iggros Moshe A to Z: B is for Birth Control

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on November 9, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

BONUS: Intro Episode; B is for Birth Control Episode 4: Birth Control; the IUD For English translations click here. Episode 5: Birth Control; the Condom For English translations click here. Episode 6: Birth Control; A Woman’s Choice…

Iggros Moshe A to Z: A is for America

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on November 8, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Episode 1: Educational Fraud Click here for a PDF of this teshuvah. Episode 2: Tenants’ Rights Click here for a PDF of this teshuvah. Episode 3: The Death Penalty Click here for a PDF of this teshuvah.…

A Sojourner or a Resident?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 1, 2018

Ger vi’toshav anokhi imakhem, “A sojourner and a resident am I in your midst” (Gen. 23:4).  Avraham’s description of his status in the land of Canaan – as both someone living among the inhabitants of the land, and yet not fully one of them – powerfully captures the experience of immigrants in general, and that of Jews in America starting from the first wave of major immigration in 19th century, in particular. …

Should a Father Personally Circumcise His Son? – The Mitzvot of Bris and Milah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on October 17, 2018

QUESTION: I am the father of a newborn beautiful baby boy.  The bris is coming up in a few days.  Since I have a mitzvah to give my son a bris, and the mohel is just an agent, is it better that I do the bris myself (after the mohel sets everything up, of course)?…