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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Prayer & Religiosity

Yizkor

In the Time of Coronavirus

The two primary paragraphs of Yizkor — the titular “Yizkor” and the well-known “El Maleh Rachamim” — are contrasting devotions. El Maleh Rachamim requests repose. The key word is Menucha, or rest.  We ask that God grant our relative’s soul “fitting rest … a rest in the Garden of Eden … so that they rest in peace”. …

Holy Imperfection

In the Time of Coronavirus

The Rabbis tell us that the mitzvah to dwell in a sukkah means that we are, for this week, to tzei midirat keva ve’sheiv bi’dirat aray –to leave our established, permanent abode and live in a temporary dwelling. In other years, I have understood the message to be that by living in a temporary dwelling we become aware that the normal stability and predictability of our lives – our established abode – is actually an illusion.…

One for All and All for One? Individual and Communal Obligations of Shofar

Rav Mordechai Yehuda Leib Winkler (1845-1932, Hungary) was a student of the Ketav Sofer, the son of the Chatam Sofer and served as the Rabbi and Rosh HaYeshiva of Mád in Northern Hungary. His book of responsa, Levushe Mordechai, contains 1555 separate responsa addressed to 174 different locations (including 4 to the United States), testifying to his popularity and importance as a posek.…

Free Will and Repentance in the Thought of Rav Zadok and Rav Hutner

by Rabbi Yitzchak Blau
Posted on September 15, 2020

A recording of this shiur is not available, but you can find the source sheet through this Sefaria link.…

“Mizmor L’David” as a Framework for Coping With Life’s Challenges

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on September 14, 2020

Scroll below the video to follow along with the source sheet.…

Chana: The Transformative Power of Tefilla

by Dr. Yael Ziegler
Posted on September 11, 2020

To follow along with the shiur’s source sheet on Sefaria, please click here.    …

Go Easy on the Kids? Children and Tisha B’Av

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.…

Towards a Definition of Tefillah

by Dr. Shalom Holtz
Posted on July 20, 2020

Tanakh and Superstition: Debates Within Traditional Commentaries

by Rabbi Hayyim Angel
Posted on June 30, 2020

Does Torah Ever Take a Sleep Break?

Rav Menashe Klein zt”l, also known as the Ungvarer Rav, was a survivor of the Shoah and served as a communal leader and rosh yeshiva in Boro Park and in Jerusalem. The author of the 17-volume responsa Mishneh Halakhot, as well as many other books, he was renowned for his depth and breadth of knowledge.…

Blinded by the Light

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2020

  What message can we learn from our parsha to give us some guidance during this crisis? Parshat Vayekhel-Pikudei opens with the second story of the Mishkan. After having been commanded by God in the building of the Mishkan in Terumah-TiZaveh, Moshe now, in turn, commands the people to build the Mishkan.…

Zakhor and Megillah For Those Under Quarantine

Question: Can people under quarantine fulfil the mitzvah of megillah by listening on the telephone or by participating via Zoom or the like?  What can these people do regarding listening to parashat Zakhor?   Summary: For megillah – One may rely on those Aharonim who rule that a person fulfils his or her obligation.…