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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Moadim/Holidays

a headshot of rabbi linzer smiling with a library in the background

Shemitah or Shnat Shabbaton? When Torah Values Collide

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 21, 2022

the word Ha! scattered over a white background

Purim Parodies: Permitted or Past Nicht? Copy

Purim is distinguished by being a day in which all norms appear to be turned upside down. As it says in the megillah, “The very day on which the enemies of the Jews had expected to get them into their power, the opposite happened [venahafokhhu], and the Jews got the enemy into their power…The days were transformed [nepakh lahem] for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy” (Esther 9:1, 22).…

animation of the temple burning and the hebrew words for tisha b'av

Should Children Mourn the Loss of the Temple?

Anyone who has spent time at a Jewish summer camp has inevitably confronted questions regarding what children should or shouldn’t do in the weeks preceding Tisha B’Av and on Tisha B’Av itself. From the 17th of Tammuz, many Ashkenazim have the custom not to shave or conduct weddings, and beginning with Rosh Chodesh Av, there are additional customs such as refraining from bathing, laundering one’s clothes, and listening to live music.…

a page from a work of lurianic kabbalah

The Study of Kabbalah

The well-known custom of staying up all night on Shavuot to study Torah originated as a kabbalistic practice with roots in the Zohar. Every Shavuot, the Zohar explains, God marries the Jewish people once again, and the study of Torah beautifies the shechina (divine presence) before the marriage ceremony is to commence.…

Achrei Mot: Counting Sefirat HaOmer

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on April 28, 2022

What is the purpose of Sefirat HaOmer? We are now well into our yearly journey through Sefirat HaOmer. We began counting on the second day of Pesach and will continue through Shavuot. Day in and day out, week in and week out, we count.…

chips aisle in a grocery store

Chametz She’Avar Alav HaPesach 

QUESTION  Westchester, NY  I have some חמץ שעבר עליו את הפסח. My school is doing a food drive this week. Can I donate my חמץ without concern for הנאה? The food drive is also a competition between classes. If I put it in one of the class boxes, would that be a problem?…

Yachatz: God Is With Us in Our Brokenness

by eliyoggev
Posted on April 14, 2022

One of the main purposes of the Pesach seder is to remind us that HaShem can help us today just like HaShem helped Am Yisrael many years ago in Egypt. The yachatz part of the seder takes this to the next level through teaching that many times our future redemption is hidden in our very moments of brokeness and struggle. …

mustard seeds

Defining Kitniyot 

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 13, 2022

QUESTION  Rav Linzer, can you weigh in on why (or why not) sesame seeds and mustard seeds are kitniyot?  ANSWER  It is hard if not impossible to nail down a definition of what type of produce is included in kitniyot. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggrot Moshe OC 3:63) acknowledged the two reasons given for the prohibition of kitniyot: (1) that these foods can be used to make flour and (2) that wheat and barley often get mixed in with these foods.…

Purim Megillah

Directing our Energies: Renewal & Acceptance

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 17, 2022

As we come out of Purim, I wanted to share a message related not just to this incredible holiday, but to this life moment that we find ourselves in. At the end of the Megillah, the Jewish people accept upon themselves the holiday of Purim and the mitzvot associated with it.…

flag of ukraine blowing in wind in blue sky

Purim 5782 Greetings from Rabbi Dov Linzer

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 11, 2022

We are about to enter the holiday of Purim. It is a day that celebrates a breathtaking reversal of events–a people on the brink of decimation turns the tables on their enemies. They take the battle to them and emerge unscathed and victorious.…

lit menorah with colored candles against a pitch-black background. it is beautiful

Making the Old New Again: Chanukkah 5782 Greetings from Rabbi Linzer

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 1, 2021

Recently I was asked what the halakha is if a person forgot to make the brakhah of Shechiyanu when he or she lit candles on the first night. Should they make the brakhah when they light on the second night? The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is yes (SA OH 676:1).…

fully lit menorah leaning against jerusalem stone in the neighorhood of meah shaarim as the menorah illuminates the darkness around it

Publicizing the Miracle of Chanukkah to All

According to the Talmud (Shabbat 23b), we light candles on Chanukkah to publicize the miracle of the holiday (pirsumei nisa). This goal serves to determine where and when the candles should be lit so they can be seen by the maximum number of people.…