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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Machshava/Jewish Thought

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.…

Do My Kids Really Need Their OWN Lulav and Esrog?

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.…

When to NOT Ask for Forgiveness

Rav Binyamin Yehoshua Zilber zt”l was a major Haredi posek of the previous generation. He studied in Brisk and at a satellite yeshiva of Novardok in his youth, eventually making aliyah to become one of the first students at Yeshivat Beit Yosef-Novardok in Bene Brak.…

For the Entire Congregation is Holy

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 3, 2019

The Korach story, in which Aharon’s right to the priesthood was challenged, ends with the Torah enumerating the special priestly gifts that to which the Kohanim are entitled (Bamidbar 18:8-20).  On this special status of the priesthood, the Sifrei comments: “There are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of kingship, and the crown of the priesthood.…

Accepting the Mitzvot as a Convert: Does it Matter What You’re Really Thinking?

Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda Shmelkes (1828-1904) was one of the leading rabbis in the latter part of the 19th century in Eastern Europe. He was the head of the rabbinical court in Lvov (Lemberg) from 1869-1893. His Beit Yiẓḥak (6 vols., 1875–1908), on the four parts of the Shulkḥan Arukh, was widely acclaimed. …

Accidentally Mentioning the Day of the Omer

Rabbi Moshe Sofer (1762-1839), generally known as Hatam Sofer, was perhaps the most important European rabbi of the first half of the nineteenth century. He was widely recognized during his lifetime, and trained the next generation of Hungarian leadership at his yeshiva in Pressburg.…

Establishing Halakhic Marriage Norms in the New State

Rabbi Yitzhak Isaak Halevi Herzog (1888-1959) was Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of the State of Israel at the time of its founding. He had previously served as Chief Rabbi of Ireland, until he succeeded Rav Kook in 1936. Aside from his work in developing the institutions of the Israeli Rabbinate, he is most famous for his doctorate on the proper identification of tekhelet.…

When Successful Theodicies Fail: The Holocaust and the Problem of Gratuitous Suffering

by Dr. Daniel Rynhold Posted on April 17, 2019

Humanity, Personhood and Jewish Thought after the Holocaust and Today

by Rabbi Dr. Yehudah Mirsky Posted on April 17, 2019

Re-Examining Pesukei d’Zimra in Light of Sefer Divrei ha’Yamim

by Rabbi Menachem Leibtag Posted on April 17, 2019

What Nietzsche Can Teach Jews About the Problem of Evil

by Dr. Daniel Rynhold Posted on April 17, 2019

Angels and Demons: The Akedah, the Exodus, and a Pre-Rabbinic Midrash

by Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern Posted on April 17, 2019