Today is October 28, 2020 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Mitzvot

Holy Imperfection

In the Time of Coronavirus

The Rabbis tell us that the mitzvah to dwell in a sukkah means that we are, for this week, to tzei midirat keva ve’sheiv bi’dirat aray –to leave our established, permanent abode and live in a temporary dwelling. In other years, I have understood the message to be that by living in a temporary dwelling we become aware that the normal stability and predictability of our lives – our established abode – is actually an illusion.…

Intention and Identity: Which Trees Produce a Kosher Lulav?

Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank (1873-1960) is best known as the chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem. He was born and raised in Lithuania, where he studied at Slobodka and Telz, two of Europe’s most prominent yeshivot before the war. After making aliyah in 1892, he became a part of the rabbinic establishment of the old yishuv, while also building a close connection with Rav Kook, becoming part of his circle of intimates along with Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook, Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Charlap, and the Nazir, Rabbi David Cohen.…

One for All and All for One? Individual and Communal Obligations of Shofar

Rav Mordechai Yehuda Leib Winkler (1845-1932, Hungary) was a student of the Ketav Sofer, the son of the Chatam Sofer and served as the Rabbi and Rosh HaYeshiva of Mád in Northern Hungary. His book of responsa, Levushe Mordechai, contains 1555 separate responsa addressed to 174 different locations (including 4 to the United States), testifying to his popularity and importance as a posek.…

Moving from the Real to the Ideal

In the Time of Coronavirus

The Torah commands us in the laws of Shmita for the first time in Shemot 23:11: “And six years you shall sow thy land, and shall gather in the fruits thereof. But the seventh year you shall relinquish it; that the poor of your people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat.…

Mezuzot: Divine Protection or Human Perfection?

In the Time of Coronavirus

The mitzvah of mezuzah appears at the end of this week’s parasha in what we know of as the second paragraph of Shema: “And you shall write them (these words) on the doorposts of your house and of your gates.” (Deut.…

Does Torah Ever Take a Sleep Break?

Rav Menashe Klein zt”l, also known as the Ungvarer Rav, was a survivor of the Shoah and served as a communal leader and rosh yeshiva in Boro Park and in Jerusalem. The author of the 17-volume responsa Mishneh Halakhot, as well as many other books, he was renowned for his depth and breadth of knowledge.…

Was the Mishkan Wheelchair Accessible?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 21, 2020

In Parashat Bamidbar, the Torah tells us how to construct a community that has God and Torah at its center. God’s command, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst” (Shemot 25:8), is now given true shape as the Children of Israel depart from Mount Sinai and begin to move as a community and settle as a camp.…

Matzah and Moderation

Rav Asher Weiss (b. 1953) grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn and, is one of the most prolific, renowned and respected poskim of our time. His responsa stand out for their clarity of thinking and presentation, and for their creative approach to the challenging halakhic issues of our day. …

Zakhor and Megillah For Those Under Quarantine

Question: Can people under quarantine fulfil the mitzvah of megillah by listening on the telephone or by participating via Zoom or the like?  What can these people do regarding listening to parashat Zakhor?   Summary: For megillah – One may rely on those Aharonim who rule that a person fulfils his or her obligation.…

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).…

Is Hanukkah Holy?

Translation by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff; introduction by Rabbi Dov Linzer

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.…

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.…