Today is January 20, 2022 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Machshava/Jewish Thought

Isaac digging wells

Are You a Seeker or a Dweller?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 19, 2020

Are you a seeker or a dweller? Scholars of religion have noted that religious people can be categorized as either seekers or dwellers. Seekers are the ones who are looking for G-d, meaning, and truth. They wonder about how religion’s messages and teachings can play out in their lives, and they look to bring a religious ethos into the world.…

Insiders and Outsiders

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 12, 2020

A major theme in this week’s parasha, Chayei Sarah, is the question of insiders and outsiders. How do we relate to the larger country around us? How do we relate to foreigners? This is quite relevant to the question of immigrants in a society – are their contributions to be feared or embraced?…

Yizkor

In the Time of Coronavirus

The two primary paragraphs of Yizkor — the titular “Yizkor” and the well-known “El Maleh Rachamim” — are contrasting devotions. El Maleh Rachamim requests repose. The key word is Menucha, or rest.  We ask that God grant our relative’s soul “fitting rest … a rest in the Garden of Eden … so that they rest in peace”. …

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.…

A Plastic Hour

In the Time of Coronavirus

Yom Kippur is almost upon us. It is a day that is classically spent in personal introspection and reflection, acknowledging and feeling remorse for our sins and misdeeds, and committing to try to do differently in the future. In previous years, I have shared my thoughts that I believe that this heavy emphasis on looking back can often be unproductive and unhelpful.…

“To Bow and to Bend We Won’t be Ashamed…” Two Understandings of the Yom Kippur Prostrations

Rabbi Yekutiel Yehudah Halberstam (1905-1994) was the founding Rebbe of the Sanz-Klausenberg chassidic court. A Holocaust survivor, Rav Halberstam established various organizations dedicated to rebuilding Torah learning after the war. He spoke frequently about the importance of studyingTalmud and even stated that the essence of chassidus is to learn Gemara, something quite unusual for a Chassidic rebbe.…

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.…

Hannah,-Samuel-&-Eli

Hannah and the Vision of Kingship

by Rabbi David Silber
Posted on September 15, 2020

Yom Kippur: The Repentance of Ninveh and the Purpose of the Book of Jonah

by Dr. Yonatan Grossman
Posted on September 15, 2020

Scroll below the video to follow along with the source sheet.…

Akedat-Yitzchak, the Sacrifice of Issac

The Binding of Isaac: Extremely Religious Without Religious Extremism

by jlebwohl
Posted on September 15, 2020

Parashat Ha-Teshuva: Deuteronomy Chapter 30 and Its Location in the Book

by Rabbi David Bigman
Posted on September 15, 2020