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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

Does the Torah Make You Wise?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff Posted on October 6, 2016

It may seem odd to us that people would ask a rabbi who to marry or vote for, but the Torah, in fact, does have reference to all aspects of our lives and the experts in Torah may well have wisdom and advice to impart in all areas of our lives.…

What is a Halakhic Jewish Identity?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff Posted on October 6, 2016

Apart from the “Shema Yisra’el” with which we are so familiar, Parshat Va’etchanan has three other instances where we see similar instructions for Israel to listen. What do the Other Shema Yisraels have that our Shema doesn’t. Considering their emphasis, wouldn’t it be better to recite them twice daily rather than our Shema? …

May a Woman Lead Selichot and the Recital of God’s 13 Principles of Mercy? A Response to Rabbi Dov Linzer in Hebrew

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz (Posted on September 27, 2016)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

The Seductions of Idolatry

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 26, 2016

Much of the book of Devarim is devoted to warning the people against being seduced by idolatry when they enter the land. It is often hard for us to appreciate why idolatry was such a temptation in the past. To better understand the attraction, we must look more closely at the metaphors and images the verses use in the exhortations against it.…

So, What’s the Story With… Christianity?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 26, 2016

Last week we explored how the Torah’s prohibitions against idolatry fall into two categories: 1) the belief in and worship of foreign gods and 2) the representation or worship of God through an image or any physical concretization. These recur throughout the book of Devarim in regular warnings against the seductions of idolatry, and we find them again in Parashat Eikev: The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.…

Friends, Romans, Countrymen: Lend Me Your Money

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 26, 2016

If asked which mitzvah obligates us to help the poor, we would immediately respond, “The mitzvah of tzedakah.” There’s only one problem: no such mitzvah exists in the Torah. Nowhere in the Torah does it say that if a poor person asks us for money, we must give it to him.…

What is the Basis for Rabbinic Authority?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 26, 2016

What is the basis for Rabbinic authority? Why do we follow the Talmud? Why is the Rabbis’ interpretation of Torah mitzvot binding on us? The Talmud tells us that the answer to some of these questions can be found in our parasha.…

A Rabbi and a Scientist Walk into a Room…

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 26, 2016

Can new discoveries in science and advances in technology bring about changes in halakha? The question is not whether halakha can address phenomena that did not exist in the time of the Talmud, such as electricity, surrogate motherhood, and organ transplants; that is the regular work of halakha.…

Can We Build Bridges Both to the Left and to the Right – Simultaneously?

by Rabbi Asher Lopatin Posted on September 23, 2016

Lessons from my first year at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah “Excuse me for a moment; I need to take this call,” I said to the rabbis I was meeting with at an important convention for Chareidi professionals dealing with practical halachic issues and public policy. …

Non-Heart-Beating Donation from Brain Dead Patients: Rav Ahron Soloveichik’s Solution

by Rabbi Asher Lopatin Posted on September 22, 2016

Non-Heart-Beating Donation  from Brain Dead Patients: Rav Ahron Soloveichik’s Solution From “Halakhic Realities,” pp. 253-261   I. THE POSITION OF RABBI AHRON SOLOVEICHIK Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik is generally seen as a great opponent of using brain death to define the end of life.…

Women and Kriyat HaTorah: A Response from Rabbi Aryeh Klapper

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper (Posted on September 8, 2016)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Mitzvah of Lending Money

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 6, 2016

Loaning as a Mitzvah Is there a mitzvah to loan money?  Many of us would think that the answer is “no” – it’s not real tzedakah, because the person has to give the money back in the end.  What is obvious to us is that there is a mitzvah of tzedakah – giving money to a person in need.  …