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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Mitzvot

Do My Kids Really Need Their OWN Lulav and Esrog?

Rabbi Avram Schwartz (Posted on October 10, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

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.…

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 Dov Linzer (Posted on June 5, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

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 Avram Schwartz (Posted on May 21, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

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.…

Don’t Talk While You’re Eating?

Rabbi Avram Schwartz (Posted on April 15, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg (1915-2006) was a rav and dayyan in Jerusalem, a member of the Chief Rabbinical Court in Israel, and the informal halakhic authority of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The author of the 21-volume set of responsa, Tzitz Eliezer, he remains a widely respected posek, one of the leading voices of the previous generation.…

Mishloah Manot, Cultivating Friendship, and the Absence of a Brakha

Rabbi Avram Schwartz (Posted on March 18, 2019)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Rabbi Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg (1884-1966) was the last rector of the Neo-Orthdox Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. In his youth in Lithuania, he had been considered an illui, a young genius, and studied under Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel at Yeshivat Kenesset Yisrael Slobodka.…

Partnering With God

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 24, 2019

How many commandments were given at Mt. Sinai?  The answer, surprisingly, is not 10.  The Torah speaks of the aseret ha’devarim, the Ten Utterances, not the Ten Commandments.  When one gets down to counting the commandments, she finds that the first of the utterances, “I am the Lord your God,” is not exactly a commandment, and that some, like “You shall have no other gods before me; you shall not bow down to them nor shall you worship them,” actually contain 3 commandments, if not more.…

Ramban on Reasons for the Commandments

by Rabbi Dr. David Shatz Posted on October 26, 2016

Making (Some) Sense of Amalek

by Miriam Gedwiser Posted on October 21, 2016

Should Torah be a Choice?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff Posted on October 7, 2016

Although voluntary buy-in is a more motivational incentive than extrinsic reward and certainly more than threat of punishment, there may still be good reason to insist that Jewish education and general keeping of mitzvot be mandatory and not a choice. Declaring something as mandatory emphasizes its importance, and, despite emotional objections, it can help ingrain habits (especially in children) so that any alternative would be unthinkable.…

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? …

Whose Religion is this?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff Posted on September 9, 2016

It is a truism among us that keeping the Halakha is synonymous with doing God’s will. However, our sources provide a strong argument that this is not always the case. Some sources (like the Grand Inquisitor) suggest that God’s will should trump rabbinic authority.…