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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Machshava/Jewish Thought

Rites of Passage

by Dr. Michelle Friedman, MD
Posted on July 5, 2016

My eldest daughter was assigned to read a long novel of her choice over spring vacation and came to me for help in making her selection… To read the full article, click here.…

Overcoming Shame

by Dr. Michelle Friedman, MD
Posted on July 5, 2016

Marisa Greenberg (not her real name) did not attend her last high school reunion. Though she is an accomplished editor and mother of three, she felt ashamed of her weight and the “unstylish” way she dresses. “I didn’t feel good enough about myself,” she says.…

Deot Journal Article

by Dr. Michelle Friedman, MD
Posted on July 5, 2016

This article was originally published in Deot. To read this Hebrew article, click here.…

Let’s Be Clear: Orthodox Jews Deeply Pro-Zionist

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on July 5, 2016

Recently, the Chronicle ran a curious and disturbing picture of a Chassidic Jew embracing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a conference of Holocaust deniers. The picture has outraged Jews all over the world. That embrace represents a betrayal of Jewish sensitivities and a disgrace to the victims of the Holocaust.…

It’s Never Too Late

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on July 5, 2016

God has blessed Toby and me with three wonderful children: Dena, Elana and Dov. We were also blessed with a fourth child born between Elana and Dov.  His name was Yitzchak Rafael.  It will be 40 years ago this coming December that Yitzchak Rafael came into this world. …

Dimensions: A Young Man’s Story of Torment: Surviving Depression

by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot
Posted on July 5, 2016

The fall of 1996 was an exciting time in my life: I had just started a new job coordinating the Judaic studies curriculum for Maayanot, a fledgling new high school for young women in Teaneck, New Jersey; I was teaching a few classes at Torah Academy of Bergen County, a local boys’ yeshivah high school and I was continuing to lecture at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. …

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.…

A Modern Orthodox Rabbi’s Creed

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on July 5, 2016

As a Modern Orthodox Rabbi, I profess an unequivocal commitment to the truth, validity, and eternal applicability of the Halakhic system. No less than my brethren on the Orthodox Right, I believe in Torah Mi-Sinai, the law given by God at Sinai, to which the Jewish people committed itself. …

A Message of Inclusiveness At The Foot of Mt. Sinai

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

  The Torah tells us that at the moment of revelation all the Jews at Sinai were able to see. (Exodus 20:15) Is it possible that of the several million there was not one single person who was blind? Here Rashi responds and states that in fact a miracle occurred.…

The Integral Connection Between Prayer and Action

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

The Talmud states that the source of prayer is the biblical phrase: “And you shall serve Him with all your heart.” (Deuteronomy 11:13) Service is usually associated with action. One can serve with his or her hands or feet but how does one serve with the heart?…

The Unique Character of the Holiness of Jerusalem

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Parshat Terumah talks about the first synagogue of all time – the mishkan. Because the chasm between the finite human being and the infinite God is great, the mishkan was established so that there would be a tangible place where people could feel more intensely, more powerfully, the presence of God.…

Sacrifices Celebrate Our Love of God

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Parshat Tzav continues the theme of the sacrificial service. There are many suggestions as to the reasoning behind this enigmatic, yet important element of our tradition. Ramban understands the Mishkan (tabernacle) as a kind of portable Mt. Sinai. Mt. Sinai was a physical mountain through which the Jewish people were able to feel God’s presence more powerfully.…