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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Tzedakah & Social Justice

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. …

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.…

Why is the Mitzvah of Tzedakkah not in the Torah and Only First Appears in Neviim?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on July 6, 2017

To view the sources for this shiur click here.  …

Protecting the Canaanite? Sheltering the Moabite? Immigrants and Refugees in Tanakh and Halakha

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff Posted on July 5, 2017

To view the sources for this shiur click here.  …

Who Teaches Torah to Your Nation Israel

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 4, 2017

This is a speech delivered by Rabbi Dov Linzer at the YCT Annual Tribute Dinner in March 2017 Barukh atah Hashem ha’melamed Torah li’amo Yisrael.  Blessed are You God who teaches Torah to your nation, Israel. This second birkhat ha’Torah follows אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו לעסוק בדברי תורה, the mitzvah-blessing for Torah study.…

Letakein Olam Be-Malkhut Sha-dai

by Rabbi Chanoch Waxman Posted on December 9, 2016

Amos: Prophet of Social Justice

by Rabbi Hayyim Angel Posted on October 21, 2016

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.…

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.  …

Jewish Social Justice: A Universalist Mandate?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 8, 2016

In halakha, our obligations towards the other are mostly, if not exclusively, directed towards our fellow Jews.  In other lectures [hyperlink here to Circles of Responsibility and to the Jew-Gentile lectures that are relevant], we explore to what extent there is a basis in halakha for an obligation of assistance and support towards Gentiles as well.…

Social Justice– Mandate or Mixed Message?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 5, 2016

Many Jews champion social justice as a Torah mandate of tikkun olam.  This term contains two notions – one, a universalist ethos, a care for the world at large, and not just the Jewish community.  And two, it is a call to address the deep, systemic problems within society – to get at the root causes of injustice and inequality, and not just focus on addressing its symptoms,  such as helping individuals who are without food, or health care, or education.…

Social Justice– Circles of Responsibility

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 5, 2016

The Torah in many places obligates us to take care of our “brother”.  It is clear from many verses that this word often does not mean generically “another person,” but specifically someone of our tribe – a fellow member of the people of Israel.   …