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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Machshava/Jewish Thought

To Lead, Perchance to Dream

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on September 29, 2016

In memory of Shimon Peres, z”l, 1923-2016 The people about to enter the Land of Israel are different than those who left Egypt a generation earlier. These people were born free from slavery and can face the future without fear. They have forged a deep and lasting relationship with God over forty years in the wilderness.…

Why Doesn’t Yom Kippur Come Before Rosh HaShana?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on September 25, 2016

The relationship between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is both obvious and complex. Obvious, in that Divine judgment and forgiveness are closely connected – we recognize that there is no one who can justify him or herself to their Creator, and thus a day of judgment requires a day of forgiveness which brings with it the Divine gift of atonement.…

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

by Rabbi Asher LopatinPosted 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 ResnikoffPosted 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.…

Whose Religion is this?

by Rabbi Haggai ResnikoffPosted 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.…

Deception and Connection: Why Do We Deceive Those We Love?

by Rabbi Haggai ResnikoffPosted on September 7, 2016

Jewish values oppose lying, deception, and dishonesty as a rule. And yet there are some moments, when they are acceptable and maybe even preferable to the truth. It is obvious that we should not participate in dishonesty that causes damage to others, and even dishonesty that really has no negative consequences should be avoided.…

What Does It Take to Make a Match?

by Rabbi Haggai ResnikoffPosted on September 7, 2016

There is a need in our community for a review of the criteria we use in selecting mates (values and personal traits rather than aesthetic and material concerns). In addition there is a need to reemphasize that making the choice is not enough- there is tremendous work that still needs to go into a marriage and that very work is the source of the love between the partners.…

Break Down Their Altars: The Limits of Interfaith

by Rabbi Haggai ResnikoffPosted on September 6, 2016

Although the written Torah suggests in various places a violent relationship with other religions- particularly those that involve avodah zarah (best but incompletely translated as “idolatry”)- we find in the Sages a mixed bag of how we should treat other religions.…

How Could We be Commanded to Commit Genocide?

by Rabbi Haggai ResnikoffPosted on September 6, 2016

Amalek, as it appears in the פשט of the תנ”ך and in חז”ל and the later Midrashim is a tribe that raids others both for status and for economic necessity. The only way to be safe from a tribe with this kind of predatory culture is to destroy it entirely because any remnant will rebuild the tribe with the same rapacious culture.…

P’sak Halakhah and Women’s Voices

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on September 5, 2016)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

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

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz (Posted on August 19, 2016)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Holy War

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted 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.…