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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Lifecycle Events

The Last Kindness

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 17, 2021

Jacob is sick and believes that he is about to die. Eager to ensure that he will be buried in the land of Canaan, he calls Joseph to his bedside and asks him for one final favor: “Do for me chesed ve-emet, kindness and truth.…

old hands; black and white hands; holding hands

Preparing for Our Final Moments

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 24, 2020

How can we leave behind a blessing once we are gone? “Va’yechi” – and he lived. Yaakov has come to the fullness of his life and knows that he will soon die. He calls Yosef to his bedside and broaches a subject that maybe Yosef would have preferred to avoid – his death, and the burial arrangements that must follow.…

Insiders and Outsiders

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 12, 2020

A major theme in this week’s parasha, Chayei Sarah, is the question of insiders and outsiders. How do we relate to the larger country around us? How do we relate to foreigners? This is quite relevant to the question of immigrants in a society – are their contributions to be feared or embraced?…

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”. …

Hannah,-Samuel-&-Eli

Hannah and the Vision of Kingship

by Rabbi David Silber
Posted on September 15, 2020

Woman praying at kotel

Chana: The Transformative Power of Tefilla

by Dr. Yael Ziegler
Posted on September 11, 2020

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

Protecting the Widow: Legal Institutions in Megillat Ruth

by Dr. Yael Landman Wermuth
Posted on July 20, 2020

Sefirat Ha’Omer: Whose Minhag Counts?

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (1920-2013), born in Iraq and Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1973 to 1983, was the preeminent Sephardi posek of the previous generation. His responsa are collected in two multi-volume works: Yabia Omer (11 volumes), which contain his lengthy responsa, and Yachaveh Da’at (6 volumes), which contain his short-form responsa based on a weekly radio show of his where he answered listeners’ questions.…

The Mitzvah to Plan for the Future

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 8, 2020

  What does the Torah have to say about a person making concrete plans for the eventuality of her death? Is it appropriate to sign a health care proxy or to make out a will? There is no better example than our patriarch, Jacob.…

Establishing Halakhic Marriage Norms in the New State

Rabbi Yitzhak Isaak Halevi Herzog (1888-1959) was Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of the State of Israel at the time of its founding. He had previously served as Chief Rabbi of Ireland, until he succeeded Rav Kook in 1936. Aside from his work in developing the institutions of the Israeli Rabbinate, he is most famous for his doctorate on the proper identification of tekhelet.…

Abortion in Halakha: A Study Guide

Halakhic Parameters of Abortion: A Study Guide Guided Questions for Chavruta Learning See sources 1-5 which serve as the core sources for the Rabbinic position that full human life begins only after birth. Now look at sources 8-12.  Do they indicate that a fetus has the legal status / protections of a human life or not? …

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)?…