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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Tzedakah & Social Justice

Is Inclusion a Jewish Value?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 27, 2021

Is inclusion a Jewish value? The answer seems obvious. God enjoins the Israelites, “You shall have one standard for stranger and citizen alike” (Leviticus 24:22). Those who might otherwise be at the margins of society are to be equal members. My wife, however, hates the word “inclusion.”…

A Year of Shabbat or Shmitta? When Torah Mandates Conflict

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 7, 2021

What happens when Torah directives are in conflict with one another, particularly within the same mitzvah? The mitzvah of the shmitta year serves as a prime example of this conflict. When shmitta appears at the beginning of our parsha, it is referred to as a Shabbat.…

Matanot La’Evyonim: It’s Not Always About You.

Rabbi David Zvi Schneivalg (1915-1968) was the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Vizhnitz and dayan of Vizhnitz in the interwar period, and a community rabbi of the Mahzikei HaDat community in Manchester after World War II. He authored Shraga haMeir, a multi-volume collection of his responsa, from which this responsum is taken (Shraga haMeir 2:99).…

Where Does Ma’aser Kesafim Come From, and What Can it Be Used For?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 26, 2019

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? The idea of tithing is alluded to in this week’s parasha.  We are told that Yitzchak, “Sowed in that land and received in that year a hundredfold, and God blessed him” (Gen.…

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.…