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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Moadim/Holidays

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 Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
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.…

section of ancient amidah text in faded ink in hebrew on parchent or scroll

Our God, or God of Our Forefathers?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 14, 2021

The Amidah prayer opens with a blessing about the forefathers. It begins like this: “Blessed are you God, Our God, God of our forefathers,” and it then continues to name those forefathers explicitly: “God of Avraham, God of Yitzchak, God of Yaakov.”…

painting featuring a giraffe, tiger, and elephant with trees and blue sky in the background. cheerful painting. angel hovers over the giraffe at the back of the line of the three animals.

What Will You Create?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 30, 2021

The Torah opens with God creating the world during the Six Days of Creation. Then follows Shabbat: va’yakhulu haShamayim, “And the Heavens and Earth, and all their hosts were completed.” Every Friday night, we open kiddush by reciting this verse and the verses that follow.…

a school bus stopping on a road with its doors open while a line of small children with backpacks walk in a line to get onto the bus

Glimpsing the House of Tomorrow

by Nava
Posted on September 24, 2021

From the start of Elul through Shemini Atzeret, we recite Psalm 27. There we read, “One thing I ask of the Lord, only that I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, to frequent God’s Temple” (Psalm 27:4).…

a very realistic oil painting featuring a beautifulb bright red tree in autumn. a grassy walkway sits to the left. on the left side of the tree (our left) we see a bright yellow sunset. on the right side, the sky is a purple-y blue and some branches are barren. the hay on the ground is golden and red- it's a majestic fall scene.

Shmini Atzeret: The Yom Tov of Follow-Through

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 23, 2021

Shmini Atzeret is a hard holiday to understand. It has its own identity and its own name. It is Shmini, the eighth day of Sukkot, and it is a day of “atzeret,” of gathering. But what is that supposed to mean?…