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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Moadim/Holidays

Why Cross-Dressing on Purim is Kosher (Shulchan Aruch 6:96), Joy of Text 4:06

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 20, 2019

These sources accompany the Cross-Dressing on Purim episode of the Joy of Text podcast.   1. Rema, Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayim 696:8 רמ”א, שו”ע אורח חיים תרצ”ו:ח’ ומה שנהגו ללבוש פרצופים בפורים, וגבר לובש שמלת אשה ואשה כלי גבר, אין איסור בדבר מאחר שאין מכוונין אלא לשמחה בעלמא; וכן בלבישת כלאים דרבנן.…

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

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.…

Tu B’Shevat and Creative Destruction

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 the world’s most prominent yeshivot before the war. After making aliyah, 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.…

Lighting Hanukkah Candles with Electric Lights: A Teshuvah from Rav Yaakov Moshe Toledano

Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Toledano (1880-1960), author of Responsa Yam HaGadol, was a Sepharadi rabbi and posek. He served Jewish communities in his hometown of Tiberias, in Tangier, Cairo, and finally Tel Aviv, where he served as the Sepharadi chief rabbi. In 1958, he was appointed the Minister of Religions.…

The Power of Torah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 27, 2018

Simchat Torah is the second day of Shmini Atzeret. Indeed, in Israel the two are celebrated on the same day. In some Sefardic and Chassidic communities, the themes are also merged to a certain degree. For example, some shuls do hakafoton the night of Shmini Atzeret and on Simchat Torah.…

How Soon Must I Build My Sukkah: A Teshuva by The Avnei Nezer

Translation by Rabbi Avi Schwartz, introduction by Rabbi Dov Linzer   Rabbi Avraham Bornsztain (1838-1910) was the first Sochatchover Rebbe. He was a leading posek of the 19th century. His responsa, Sheilot U’teshuvot Avnei Nezer cover all 4 sections of Shulhan Arukh.…

May One Who Eats on Yom Kippur Due to Medical Needs Serve as a Shaliach Tzibbur? A Teshuvah from Rav Asher Weiss

Translation by Rabbi Avi Schwartz, introduction by Rabbi Dov Linzer   Rabbi Asher Weiss(1953- ) is the current Rosh Kollel of Machon Minchas Asher L’Torah V’Horaah in Israel. Rav Asher was born to a Sens-Klausenburg Hassidic family and grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn.…

Hearing Shofar Over A Loudspeaker or on a Radio: A Teshuvah from Rav Ben-Zion Uziel

HaRav Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1880-1953) served as Sepharadi chief rabbi of Tel Aviv-Jaffa (earlier Jaffa) during the period of the British Mandate, for a time alongside Rav Kook. In 1939, he was appointed Rishon LeTzion, Sephardi chief rabbi of the Land of Israel, and served in that position until his death in 1953.…

Fasting for Pregnant and Nursing Women – a teshuvah by Rabbi Nahum Rabbinovitch

Shulkhan Arukh (OH 554:5) states simply that pregnant and nursing women must fast on Tishah b’Av. Is this indeed the case?  What if she is concerned about her health, or the health of the baby? Is it permitted only if she is first feeling weak?…

Rema’s Understanding of Reheating Liquid Foods on Shabbat

Introduction The mishnah in Shabbat 145b states: “Anything that has been prepared in hot water prior to Shabbat, may be immersed in hot water on Shabbat.” From here we learn the principle of ein bishul ahar bishul (one does not violate the Biblical prohibition of cooking when reheating food that has already been cooked).…

Is There Anything I May Do on Shabbat to Prepare for Yom Tov?

  This weekend, we will celebrate another marathon holiday – Shabbat followed by Shavuot. Shavuot, occurring later in spring, presents its own challenges of time: each day of the holiday, as with all yamim tovim, does not begin until dark, but as preparing for one day of the holiday on the previous one (or on Shabbat for Yom Tov) is forbidden, any preparations not done before the holiday may not begin until very late in the evening.…

Pesach and the Problem of Passive Participation

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 4, 2018

There is a great irony in the fact that Pesach, the hag which commemorates the historical period of greatest activity and upheaval, is actually quite tame and uneventful once the sedarim are over.  Other than the Seder night, there are no special mitzvot or rituals.…