Today is January 16, 2021 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Belief & Observance

vaccine-shot, needle

Should I Make a Brakha When Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Question: Do I make a brakha when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot or when it begins to be distributed in my city? If so, what brakha?   Answer: We should start by noting that the question you are asking is a halakhic one regarding the specific formulaic blessing of the Barukh atah nature.…

Sharing the Light: Is Religious Maximalism a Good Thing?

In the Time of Coronavirus

Chanukkah celebrates religious maximalism. We increase the number of lights each night to show that we will not just make do with the bare minimum of one light per night. In doing this, we remember the miracle of the oil, where the Jews at the time sought out pure oil, although impure oil would have sufficed under the circumstances.…

Yizkor

In the Time of Coronavirus

The two primary paragraphs of Yizkor — the titular “Yizkor” and the well-known “El Maleh Rachamim” — are contrasting devotions. El Maleh Rachamim requests repose. The key word is Menucha, or rest.  We ask that God grant our relative’s soul “fitting rest … a rest in the Garden of Eden … so that they rest in peace”. …

Holy Imperfection

In the Time of Coronavirus

The Rabbis tell us that the mitzvah to dwell in a sukkah means that we are, for this week, to tzei midirat keva ve’sheiv bi’dirat aray –to leave our established, permanent abode and live in a temporary dwelling. In other years, I have understood the message to be that by living in a temporary dwelling we become aware that the normal stability and predictability of our lives – our established abode – is actually an illusion.…

One for All and All for One? Individual and Communal Obligations of Shofar

Rav Mordechai Yehuda Leib Winkler (1845-1932, Hungary) was a student of the Ketav Sofer, the son of the Chatam Sofer and served as the Rabbi and Rosh HaYeshiva of Mád in Northern Hungary. His book of responsa, Levushe Mordechai, contains 1555 separate responsa addressed to 174 different locations (including 4 to the United States), testifying to his popularity and importance as a posek.…

Hannah,-Samuel-&-Eli

Hannah and the Vision of Kingship

by Rabbi David Silber
Posted on September 15, 2020

Yom Kippur: The Repentance of Ninveh and the Purpose of the Book of Jonah

by Dr. Yonatan Grossman
Posted on September 15, 2020

Two Paths

Free Will and Repentance in the Thought of Rav Zadok and Rav Hutner

by Rabbi Yitzchak Blau
Posted on September 15, 2020

A recording of this shiur is not available, but you can find the source sheet through this Sefaria link.…

Aggadah

“Where Baalei Teshuva Stand, the Utterly Righteous Cannot Stand”: An Aggadic Reflection on Perfection and Patience

by Rabbi Aryeh Klapper
Posted on September 15, 2020

Scroll below the video to follow along with the source sheet.  …

Unexpected Models of Teshuva in Tanach

by Nechama Price
Posted on September 14, 2020

To follow along with the shiur’s source sheet on Sefaria, please click here.…

shofar

Teshuva and Yishuv Daat: The Transformative Possibilities of Elul

by Rabbi Dr. Erin Leib-Smokler
Posted on September 14, 2020

To follow along with the shiur’s source sheet on Sefaria, please click here.…

Have A Meaningful Fast? Re-Examining the Biblical Meaning of Fasting on Yom Kippur

by Rabbi Dovi Nadel
Posted on September 14, 2020

To follow along with the shiur’s source sheet on Sefaria, please click here.…