Today is October 23, 2018 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

Donating to Shul Building Funds with Ma’aser Kesafim Money

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 15, 2018

Can I use my ma’aser kesafim, tithes from my income, to contribute to my synagogue’s building campaign, and can I use it to pay my shul’s membership dues? Giving money to the building of a house of God is the theme of this week’s parasha: Speak to the Children of Israel, and they that bring me an offering (terumah); from every person whose heart moves him to give, you shall take My offering (Ex.…

Meat and Milk Mix-Ups

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 8, 2018

Sally added tomato sauce to a milkhig soup, and then discovered that the tomato sauce did not have a hekhsher and contained meat! She called the company and found out that the meat content was approximately 5%. She knows that she has to kasher her pot, but she wants to know if she has to throw out the soup or can she give it to her doorman?…

Honoring an Abusive Parent?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 1, 2018

Must a Person Honor and Mourn for an Abusive Parent? The short answer is “no.”  One of the core principles in halakha when it comes to our obligation to others is hayekha kodmin, meaning our first ethical obligation is to ourselves.  …

Saying Kaddish for a non-Jewish Parent

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 25, 2018

May a Jew by choice sit shivah and say kaddish for their non-Jewish parent? To answer this question we must address two issues: (1) What is halakhah’s view of the parent-child relationship in these cases? The gemara states, “A person who converts is like a newborn infant,” (Yevamot 22a).…

Praying with a Cross in the Room

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 18, 2018

A person is a patient at Holy Cross Hospital and there is a crucifix on the wall of each room.  Can she make brakhot and daven there? A family wishes to have a bar mitzvah in the large, all-purpose hall of Catholic university, where there is a small cross affixed at the top of the east-facing wall, 20 feet off the ground.…

May a Woman Be a Mohelet?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 4, 2018

May a woman be a mohelet? Although women are not circumcised, they are members of the covenant that the Jewish people, have with God: “You stand this day all of you before the Lord your God.. all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the stranger that is in your camp… that you enter into covenant with the Lord your God…” (Deut.…

Does Sexting Lead to Mixed Dancing? And More!- Joy of Text 1:3

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on December 28, 2017)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

In this episode, Dr. Marcus and Rabbi Linzer tackle female masturbation and interview Miryam Kabakov about Eshel, a group for LGBT Orthodox Jews. In the Q&A: is it permissible to talk “dirty?”This episode was recorded live at Limmud NY. These sources accompany the third episode of the Joy of Text podcast.…

For Real This Time, What’s the Story With Christmas Gifts?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 28, 2017

So what is the story with Christmas gifts and office Christmas parties? Last week we saw that the Talmud draws a number of red lines to ensure that our active involvement in the surrounding society does not lead us into religiously problematic areas.…

The Birth Control Episode- Joy of Text 3:3

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on December 27, 2017)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

IUDs, condoms, the pill, oh my! We break down the pros and cons of these and other common birth control methods and the halachic considerations that render some forms of contraception more acceptable than others. Then we hear from internationally renowned educator Rivkah Slonim, the Chabbad rebbetzin at SUNY Binghamton, about her three decades of teaching Jewish college students about sex and marriage.…

The Holiday Season – What’s A Frum Jew to Do?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 21, 2017

This time of year, during the “holiday season,” many Jews struggle with how to best negotiate our interaction with the society and culture around us. Can we give Christmas or year-end gifts to our paper carrier? Can we go to our company’s holiday party if it is going to be Christmas-themed?…

Forbidden Fruit – Kiddushin 81a-b – Joy of Text 3:2

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on November 14, 2017)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Cautionary tales from the Talmud illustrate the power of sexual temptation to lead even the most revered rabbis astray… But do these stories make too much of desire? Hosts Rabbi Dov Linzer and Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus and moderator Rebecca Honig Friedman discuss a passage from Kiddushin 81a-b.…

Fantasy, Concealing Abuse, Kama Sutra cards and vibrators- Joy of Text 1:1

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 10, 2017

Our first episode! We talk about fantasy: is there such thing as a “normal” fantasy? What’s the history of fantasizing in Judaism? What does Jewish law have to say about it? We also interviewed Michael Lesher about his new book on covering up sexual abuse in Orthodox communities.…