Today is April 16, 2024 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Moadim/Holidays

western wall

The Mitzvah of Hakhel Today

Every seven years, during the holiday of Sukkot following shemitah, the Torah states that the Jewish people are to hold a ceremony known as hakhel, perhaps best translated as gathering. The ceremony entails a public reading of several sections of the Torah from Devarim, with the goal that those present will “hear and learn to revere your God and observe faithfully every word of this teaching” (Devarim 31:12).…

rainstorm through a window

Sukkot and the Lulav’s Lessons for Today: Sukkot Greetings from Rabbi Dov Linzer

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 7, 2022

Sukkot is a holiday about homes–both the permanent and temporary sort–and homelessness. It commemorates how we wandered in the desert with no protection from the elements and no fixed place we could call home, and how God gave us immediate, temporary relief from the former through the Clouds of Glory and ultimate relief from the latter by bringing us into the land of Israel. …

The Mitzvah of Lulav in Jerusalem Today

All three pilgrimage festivals were centered around the experience of being at the Temple during the holiday. Whereas each person was required to offer a sacrifice for the festival, on Sukkot other unique rituals also took place at the Temple over the seven days of the holiday.…

Sukkah As Tabernacle

by Tadhg Cleary
Posted on October 6, 2022

The Rema—the great Halakhic Codifier of Ashkenazi Jewry—rules that we should build the sukkah on the day after Yom Kippur (starting even right after we break the fast) (Orach Chaim, 624:5-625:1). Some infer that, ideally, we are not supposed to even begin construction of the sukkah at all during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva—the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.…

blue sky

Let’s Try to Be a Little Less Focused This Coming Year

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 3, 2022

We are so often told that the way to success is to set our goals and then work to achieve them with single-minded focus. Indeed, for Ramban, the word het, sin—a word that dominates our Yom Kippur prayers—means to miss the target, not to stay straight and fully directed towards what we aim to achieve in our religious lives. …

hanging lightbulbs

An Electric Light for Havdalah After Yom Kippur?

With the advent of electricity in the last century, halakha has faced many new questions unknown to our ancestors. Countless teshuvot and books have been written attempting to analyze the nature of electricity and how it should be conceptualized within halakhic categories.…

Between Shabbat and Teshuvah

The One Where Adam Discovers Teshuva

Let me tell you about the day that humanity first discovered teshuvah.  As the midrash tells it, it all happens on the day Kayin killed Hevel. After that first murder, Kayin accepts HaShem’s verdict as just—he is to be exiled from the land. …

headshot of rabbi linzer smiling and leaning over a bookshelf

Elevation, Not Fear

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 23, 2022

Kingship, malkhut, is one of the most central themes of Rosh HaShanah. But what does this mean to us? How does proclaiming and imaging God as King impact our religious lives or shape the way in which we relate to Rosh HaShanah?…

shofar sitting on a granite countertop

Speaking During Mussaf: To Correct or Not To Correct?

On each day of Rosh HaShanah the shofar is blown no fewer than one hundred times in synagogue. The first thirty blasts before the mussaf service are known as tekiot d’meyushav, while the last seventy blasts blown during and after mussaf are known as tekiot d’meumad.…

Insights into the Yom Kippur Mahzor (Audio Only)

by Rabbi David Silber
Posted on September 22, 2022

What Does Malkhuyot Have to With Rosh Hashanah? (Audio Only)

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 22, 2022

Did the King Know of Haman’s Plot? (Audio Only)

by Dr. Yonatan Grossman
Posted on September 22, 2022