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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: God, Faith, Religiosity & Prayer

What is a Halakhic Jewish Identity?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on October 6, 2016

Apart from the “Shema Yisra’el” with which we are so familiar, Parshat Va’etchanan has three other instances where we see similar instructions for Israel to listen. What do the Other Shema Yisraels have that our Shema doesn’t. Considering their emphasis, wouldn’t it be better to recite them twice daily rather than our Shema? …

Can We Build Bridges Both to the Left and to the Right – Simultaneously?

by Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Posted on September 23, 2016

Lessons from my first year at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah “Excuse me for a moment; I need to take this call,” I said to the rabbis I was meeting with at an important convention for Chareidi professionals dealing with practical halachic issues and public policy. …

What’s Wrong with a Corporeal God?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 9, 2016

The idea that plain matter can be imbued with divine essence is a fundamentally dangerous doctrine according to the Torah. It leads to the fallacy that matter, and particularly humans can speak with the divine voice. This is problematic both from a practical and a theological point of view.…

P’sak Halakhah and Women’s Voices

Book Review: Be’einei Elohim Ve’Adam: Biblical Criticism and the Person of Faith

Holy War

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 15, 2016

Now in the third parasha of Bamidbar, the Children of Israel have not moved since the middle of Shemot. God has descended upon Mount Sinai, proclaimed the Ten Commandments, laid the civil laws before all, and commanded the building of the Mishkan and its attendant laws.…

Bringing Spirituality Into the Synagogue

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on July 5, 2016

The purpose of this paper is to bring a particular approach to spirituality. There are other models. Still, it is an understanding that I have found to be of meaning, and one steeped in Jewish sources. We will analyze spirituality by first defining the term; second, offering a pathway to achieve spirituality; third, suggesting ways to bring spirituality into the synagogue; finally, outlining what rabbis need to do to bring spirituality into their communities.…

The Meaning of the Word Kadosh

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 21, 2016

How does one attain the status of kedusha (holiness), commanded in parshat Kedoshim? (Leviticus 19:2) Some maintain that the pathway to holiness is to separate from the real world. Suppressing the body is the only way the soul can soar. Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik points out that this is the predominant approach of most faith communities.…

Holy Imperfection

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 5, 2016

Acharei-Mot details the special avodah, the sacrificial rites, that the High Priest performed on Yom Kippur to affect atonement for the Jewish people. However, as the Vilna Gaon noted in Kol Eliyahu, the Torah only introduces the connection to Yom Kippur at the very end of the lengthy description of this special avodah.…

Building a Space for God – and for Us

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 10, 2016

The building of the Mishkan is finally completed as the book of Shemot draws to a close. This climax has been in the making for a long while; practically half of Shemot is devoted to the commands and building of the Mishkan.…

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 3, 2016

After the dramatic and potentially catastrophic events of the Golden Calf and the breaking of the Tablets, God’s wrath and Moshe’s prayer, God’s revelation of God’s Glory to Moshe, the re-giving of the Tablets, and the rays of light emanating from Moshe’s face, parashat Vayakhel returns to the disrupted narrative stream: the commanding and the building of the Mishkan. …

From Promise to Practice

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 11, 2016

During the events of the Giving of the Torah, the Children of Israel have been pretty passive. When asked for their assent to the Torah before and after it was given they responded, “We will do.” and they participated in a ceremony marking their covenant with God.…