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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

Lighting Hanukkah Candles with Electric Lights: A Teshuvah from Rav Yaakov Moshe Toledano

Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Toledano (1880-1960), author of Responsa Yam HaGadol, was a Sepharadi rabbi and posek. He served Jewish communities in his hometown of Tiberias, in Tangier, Cairo, and finally Tel Aviv, where he served as the Sepharadi chief rabbi. In 1958, he was appointed the Minister of Religions.…

Iggros Moshe A to Z: B is for Birth Control

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 9, 2018

BONUS: Intro Episode; B is for Birth Control Episode 4: Birth Control; the IUD For English translations click here. Episode 5: Birth Control; the Condom For English translations click here. Episode 6: Birth Control; A Woman’s Choice…

Iggros Moshe A to Z: A is for America

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 8, 2018

Episode 1: Educational Fraud Click here for a PDF of this teshuvah. Episode 2: Tenants’ Rights Click here for a PDF of this teshuvah. Episode 3: The Death Penalty Click here for a PDF of this teshuvah.…

A Sojourner or a Resident?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 1, 2018

Ger vi’toshav anokhi imakhem, “A sojourner and a resident am I in your midst” (Gen. 23:4).  Avraham’s description of his status in the land of Canaan – as both someone living among the inhabitants of the land, and yet not fully one of them – powerfully captures the experience of immigrants in general, and that of Jews in America starting from the first wave of major immigration in 19th century, in particular. …

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)?…

How Soon Must I Build My Sukkah: A Teshuva by The Avnei Nezer

Translation by Rabbi Avi Schwartz, introduction by Rabbi Dov Linzer   Rabbi Avraham Bornsztain (1838-1910) was the first Sochatchover Rebbe. He was a leading posek of the 19th century. His responsa, Sheilot U’teshuvot Avnei Nezer cover all 4 sections of Shulhan Arukh.…

May One Who Eats on Yom Kippur Due to Medical Needs Serve as a Shaliach Tzibbur? A Teshuvah from Rav Asher Weiss

Translation by Rabbi Avi Schwartz, introduction by Rabbi Dov Linzer   Rabbi Asher Weiss(1953- ) is the current Rosh Kollel of Machon Minchas Asher L’Torah V’Horaah in Israel. Rav Asher was born to a Sens-Klausenburg Hassidic family and grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn.…

Hearing Shofar Over A Loudspeaker or on a Radio: A Teshuvah from Rav Ben-Zion Uziel

HaRav Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1880-1953) served as Sepharadi chief rabbi of Tel Aviv-Jaffa (earlier Jaffa) during the period of the British Mandate, for a time alongside Rav Kook. In 1939, he was appointed Rishon LeTzion, Sephardi chief rabbi of the Land of Israel, and served in that position until his death in 1953.…

Birkat HaMazon and the Oral Torah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 2, 2018

Sefat Emet teaches that those who were to enter the Land of Israel would be the beginning of the Oral Torah – the taking of the Divine word and interpreting it and applying it to the lived reality of their lives. …

To Believe or to Have Faith

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 26, 2018

The Ten Commandments open with the declaration “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of land of Egypt.” This is often understood to be a mitzvah of belief. Is there such a mitzvah? And what do we mean by belief anyway?…

Fasting for Pregnant and Nursing Women – a teshuvah by Rabbi Nahum Rabbinovitch

Shulkhan Arukh (OH 554:5) states simply that pregnant and nursing women must fast on Tishah b’Av. Is this indeed the case?  What if she is concerned about her health, or the health of the baby? Is it permitted only if she is first feeling weak?…

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.…