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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

Hilkoht Niddah: Welcoming Mikvehs

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on November 20, 2009

The source of tvilah, immersion, is complex. Interestingly, the Torah never states explicitly that a niddah, zavah, or a woman who has given birth has to immerse in order to become tahor, ritually pure, although it is assumed throughout the Talmud that this requirement exists and that it is Biblical. The Rishonim attempt to locate the Continue Reading »

Hilkhot Niddah: Bedikot of Shiva Nikkiyim

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on November 13, 2009

In hilkhot Niddah, the topic of bedikat shiva nikkiyim – the internal checking that a woman does during the seven days after cessation of bleeding – raises important questions. In general, it is a question how relevant the Brisker approach to learning – an approach which posits a chakira, two competing conceptual definitions of a law, and Continue Reading »

‘Invisible Disability’ Kids Are Being Left Out

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on November 11, 2009

by Dov Linzer And Devorah Zlochower The Jewish Week, Op-Ed November 10, 2009 We are the parents of two children with what are often termed “invisible disabilities.” Invisible disabilities can include learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and Asperger’s syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome and other tic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders, mood disorders and behavioral Continue Reading »

Tzniut: Whose Obligation?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on November 6, 2009

The topics of hirhurim and tzniut, of illicit sexual thoughts and modesty, have deep implication. The Gemara (e.g., Avoda Zara 20b, Berakhot 24a) focuses on the man’s sexual thoughts as potentially resulting from seeing or looking lustfully at women, but does not address the issue of women’s sexual thoughts. To some degree this is consistent Continue Reading »

Women in the Synagogue – the Mechitza and the Ezrat Nashim

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 30, 2009

Regarding mechitza we find 3 models in the achronim. There are those that say that it is to prevent kalut rosh – levity (based on the Gemara in Sukkah regarding the simchat beit HaShoyeva, the festival on Sukkot for the water drawing). This then divides into two possibilities: (1) To prevent men from seeing the Continue Reading »

Questions About Brit Milah: Donor Sperm and Shabbat

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 23, 2009

In studying brit milah, an interesting question arises in regards to a son who was conceived by artificial insemination by the husband. Before, we addressed the brakha of “li’hakniso b’vrito shel Avraham Avinu” that is made by the father of the son. Now, in the case of artificial insemination, most decisors are of the opinion that Continue Reading »

Is a Father Obligated to Perform His Son’s Brit Milah?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 16, 2009

In discussing the nature of the father’s obligation to give his son a bris, we encounter a question: is the father obligated to perform the bris himself (if possible), or only to take the responsibility to make sure that the bris is performed? The practical relevance of this question is twofold: (a) Is there a Continue Reading »

Sotah as an Issue of Paternity

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on September 14, 2009

Masekhet Sotah primarily focuses on the parsha in the Torah regarding a woman whose husband suspects her of adultery (Bamidbar 5:11-31). It is fascinating to see how Chazal’s understanding of Sotah differs from the simple sense of the psukim. This issue has been explored by various scholars, in particular Moshe Halbertal and Judith Hauptman, who Continue Reading »

Prayer for the Slain and Injured at the Gay Community Center in Tel Aviv

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on August 14, 2009

This prayer expresses grief and sorrow over the horrific and murderous attack at the gay Community Center in Tel Aviv on August 1, 2009 and the heightened sense of responsibility and obligation that all Jews and communities, across the denominations, must share in response. This tfillah was recited in numerous synagogues on Shabbat Parshat Ekev Continue Reading »