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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Machshava/Jewish Thought

When Do the Ends Justify the Means? (Audio Only)

by Dr. Elana Stein Hain
Posted on June 26, 2024

Dr. Elana Stein Hain from Shalom Hartman Institute explores the ethical and halachic considerations of whether ends justify means, using examples from Jewish texts to illustrate the spectrum of permissible actions to achieve noble goals and the moral implications of such decisions.…

Is it Wrong to be Ethical? Leibowitz, Levinas, and Soloveitchik on the Place of Morality in Religion (Audio Only)

by Dr. Daniel Rynhold
Posted on June 26, 2024

Dr. Daniel Rynhold from Yeshiva University delves into the intricate relationship between ethics and religion, exploring whether being ethical is inherently wrong from a religious standpoint by contrasting the views of Leibovitz with those of Levinas and Soloveitchik.…

Daughters of the Israelite Revolution: Women Thought Leaders in the Exodus Story

by Judy Klitsner
Posted on June 26, 2024

Judy Klitsner from Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies explores the concept of imposter syndrome and its implications for personal and national identity, tracing its relevance from the daughters of Egypt to the daughters of Zelophehad.…

Do Children Suffer for the Sins of their Parents?

by Rabbi Yitzchak Blau
Posted on June 26, 2024

Rabbi Yitzchak Blau from Yeshivat Orayta explores the tension between collective punishment and individual responsibility, examining biblical, philosophical, and Kabbalistic perspectives on whether children suffer for their parents’ sins.…

“Gemara as Law”: The Genre Error That Drives Halakha to this Day (Audio Only)

by Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox
Posted on June 26, 2024

Rabbi Jeff Fox from Yeshivat Maharat discusses how one should view Gemara and how it became the central text it is today. Is Gemara a law code or something else?…

Biblical or Talmudic Ethos: Competing or Complementary?

by Rabbi David Bigman
Posted on June 26, 2024

Rabbi David Bigman from Yeshivat Maale Gilboa explores the interplay between the written Torah and the oral Torah, illustrating through the story of Yiftach and his daughter how rabbinic interpretation and ethical considerations can modify and contextualize biblical narratives and laws.…

rainstorm through a window

Sukkot and the Lulav’s Lessons for Today: Sukkot Greetings from Rabbi Dov Linzer

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 7, 2022

Sukkot is a holiday about homes–both the permanent and temporary sort–and homelessness. It commemorates how we wandered in the desert with no protection from the elements and no fixed place we could call home, and how God gave us immediate, temporary relief from the former through the Clouds of Glory and ultimate relief from the latter by bringing us into the land of Israel. …

The Role of Yirat Shamayim in Our Lives

by Rabbi Yehuda Gilad
Posted on September 29, 2022

shofar sitting on a granite countertop

Speaking During Mussaf: To Correct or Not To Correct?

On each day of Rosh HaShanah the shofar is blown no fewer than one hundred times in synagogue. The first thirty blasts before the mussaf service are known as tekiot d’meyushav, while the last seventy blasts blown during and after mussaf are known as tekiot d’meumad.…

Nation As Family in the Torah

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on September 21, 2022

Insights Into Shivat Tziyon: The Return to Zion From Antiquity till Today

by Dr. Tova Ganzel
Posted on September 21, 2022

animation of the temple burning and the hebrew words for tisha b'av

Should Children Mourn the Loss of the Temple?

Anyone who has spent time at a Jewish summer camp has inevitably confronted questions regarding what children should or shouldn’t do in the weeks preceding Tisha B’Av and on Tisha B’Av itself. From the 17th of Tammuz, many Ashkenazim have the custom not to shave or conduct weddings, and beginning with Rosh Chodesh Av, there are additional customs such as refraining from bathing, laundering one’s clothes, and listening to live music.…