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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Marriage & Family

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.…

Do My Kids Really Need Their OWN Lulav and Esrog?

Translation by Rabbi Avi Schwartz and Rabbi Dov Linzer; introduction by Rabbi Dov Linzer

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt”l (1895-1986) was the preeminent posek for North American Jewry for most of the 20th century, both for the yeshivish and Modern Orthodox communities. Rav Moshe was born in Russia in 1895, where he served as rabbi making great personal sacrifices on behalf of his community until he emigrated to the U.S.…

Accepting the Mitzvot as a Convert: Does it Matter What You’re Really Thinking?

Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda Shmelkes (1828-1904) was one of the leading rabbis in the latter part of the 19th century in Eastern Europe. He was the head of the rabbinical court in Lvov (Lemberg) from 1869-1893. His Beit Yiẓḥak (6 vols., 1875–1908), on the four parts of the Shulkḥan Arukh, was widely acclaimed. …

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.…

The Joy of Text Ep. 407: On Matzah and Sex (Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:1)

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 15, 2019

These sources accompany the Matzah and Sex episode of the Joy of Text podcast.   1. Yerushalmi Pesahim 10:1 ירושלמי פסחים י’:א’ ר’ יודן נשייא סחה וצחא שאל לר’ מנא בגין דאתא צחי מהו נישתי. א”ל תני ר’ חייה אסור לאדם לטעום כלום עד שתחשך.…

Hair Covering Episode, Joy of Text 4:03

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 11, 2019

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. …

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

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 11, 2019

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.…

The Surrogacy Episode, Joy of Text 3:10

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 11, 2019

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.…

Abortion in Halakha: A Study Guide

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? …

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)?…

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

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.…

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

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?…