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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Moadim/Holidays

What We Are Celebrating on Chanukkah

by Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
Posted on December 5, 2023

To read this post in Spanish, click here To read this post in French, click here There is a well-known contradiction between the liturgy and the Talmud regarding what we are celebrating on Chanukah. During the holiday we insert the Al Hanisim poem in our prayers.…

YCT Chanukkah Reader 5784

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 1, 2023

Click here to download or find it below.…

Are Women Obligated in Hallel on Chanukah?

It is a well-known rule in halakha that women are exempt from positive time-bound mitzvot such as tefillin or lulav. Though this principle is established in the mishnah (Kiddushin 1:7), the Talmud (Kiddushin 34a) already seeks to qualify it by making clear that “one does not learn halacha from general statements even in a place where exceptions are provided.”…

YCT Yamim Noraim Torah Reader

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 28, 2023

Please enjoy this resource booklet, which includes Divrei Hitorerut/Words of Awakening and Inspiration, Torah & Halakha, and Tefillah/Prayer. We hope that it will elevate and enhance your experience during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Click here to download or find it below.…

YCT Sukkot Torah Reader 5784

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 28, 2023

Please enjoy this resource booklet, which includes words of Tefillah, Torah & Halakha. We hope that it will elevate and enhance your experience during Sukkot. Click here to download or find it below. If your community would like to receive a bulk order of future Torah Booklets in print, please contact office@yctorah.org.…

Building a Sukkah in the Public Domain

Jews have always found creative ways to build sukkot. Space was often at a premium, and every possible location would be used to build a sukkah. As one can see already in the Mishnah, it describes sukkot built on wagons, ships, and even animals.…

Taking Pills to Ease the Fast

In recent years, it has become popular for products to be marketed that will make the fast on Yom Kippur easier. On a certain level, this makes sense. Fasting for twenty-five hours while also spending most of the day standing on one’s feet as one prays in synagogue can make the day uncomfortable at best and unbearable at worst.…

What Happens if One Blows the Shofar When Rosh Hashanah Falls on Shabbat?

The holiday of Rosh Hashanah is so bound up with hearing the sound of the shofar that in those years when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat, it feels as though something essential is missing. The practice of refraining from sounding the shofar is due to the concern that in their desire to fulfill the mitzvah, those who do not know how to do it properly would carry it in the public domain on Shabbat in order to bring the shofar to an expert who could blow for them or instruct them how to do it properly.…

Why Do We Fast?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 26, 2023

As we enter into Tisha b’Av, our minds and hearts are directed towards the current turmoil that is roiling Israel and tearing at the very fabric of Israeli society. Whatever one thinks about the substantive issues relating to the changes in the judicial system, and wherever one is tempted to point the blame, we should all be able to recognize the tragic disunity and deep damage—in terms of the society, economy, military preparedness, and international relations—that recent weeks and months have brought about.…

Picture of Auschwitz

Remembering the Holocaust on Tisha B’Av

by Rabbi Zachary Truboff
Posted on July 24, 2023

Since World War Two, Jews have long struggled with how to best commemorate the Holocaust. The state of Israel would eventually establish Yom Ha-Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but many religious Jews did not initially embrace it.…

National and Individual Kabbalat haTorah

by Rabbanit Devorah Zlochower
Posted on May 22, 2023

Feminist theologian, Dr. Judith Plaskow, famously begins her major work, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective (1991) with the following words:  Entry into the covenant at Sinai is the root experience of Judaism, the central event that established the Jewish people.…

Why Is the Torah So Hard To Read

Click here to print. One of the more unusual features of a Torah scroll is that it lacks vowels and punctuation. Yet when one considers the importance of precision when reading from a Torah scroll in synagogue, the lack of vowels and punctuation is quite striking.…