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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Moadim/Holidays

A thought for Shabbat Shuva and Yom Kippur

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on September 21, 2012

The relationship between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is both obvious and complex. Obvious, in that Divine judgment and forgiveness are closely connected – we recognize that there is no one who can justify him or herself to their Creator, and thus a day of judgment requires a day of forgiveness which brings with it Continue Reading »

The Obligations of Tzedek

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 24, 2012

(An earlier version of this appeared in the 5769 AJWS Chag v’Chesed) The holiday of Shavuot is generally assumed to commemorate the giving of the Torah, which occurred on the sixth of Sivan. In the Torah, however, Shavuot is only described as an agricultural holiday and occurs not on any particular calendrical date, but at Continue Reading »

A Dynamic Faith of Gratitude

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 18, 2012

Yom Yerushalayim and Shavuot are celebrated a week apart. These celebrations mark two tremendous gifts that have been bestowed upon us: the gift of a unified Jerusalem as part of the State of Israel and under Jewish control, that we received only 45 years ago, and the gift of the Torah, that we received over 3000 Continue Reading »

The Seder without the Korban Pesach

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 5, 2012

The seder is one of the most powerful religious experiences of the year, attracting a large percentage of unaffiliated and secular Jews: 70% of American Jews and 80% of secular Israeli Jews say they will attend a seder this year. Even for religious and observant Jews, the seder is a profound event, a night that, Continue Reading »

Yosef the Tzaddik, Religious Arrogance and the Miracle of Chanukkah

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on December 23, 2011

Yosef is known throughout Rabbinic literature as “Yosef the Tzaddik.”  This phrase alludes to the verse in Amos (2:6), “their selling the Tzaddik for silver”, which is understood to be referring to brother’s selling Yosef for the 30 pieces of silver.  It is a description, however, that finds deep resonance with the character of Yosef.  Continue Reading »

Cleaning the Temple, Cleaning our World

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 6, 2011

This is an emended piece that I wrote on Yom Kippur and the Temple Service which was originally published in the Jerusalem Post Magazine, on Sept 28, 2008. “For on this day he shall atone for you to purify you; that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” (Lev. 16:30) This Continue Reading »

Mesechet Chullin and Yom Kippur: Becoming Tahor

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 6, 2011

The Gemara Chullin (101a-b) compares the relative severity of the prohibition against a ritually pure (tahor) person who eats the meat of a sacrifice that has become impure (tamei) and the prohibition against a tamei person eating the meat of a tahor sacrifice.  The first prohibition – where the sacrificial meat has already been defiled – is a simple Continue Reading »

Mesechet Menachot: Chametz and Fertility

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 13, 2011

Mesechet Menachot (53) addressed the prohibition to make menachot out of chametz.  Menachot, grain sacrifices, are usually made as matzah, unleavened bread.  There are some, notably the shetei ha’lechem, the two loaves that are brought on Shavuot, which are chametz.  Nevertheless, such chametz offerings are never burned on the altar, and the Torah explicitly prohibits Continue Reading »

Chametz and Matzah: The Risks and Rewards of Engaging the World

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 22, 2011

The Torah calls Passover the “Feast of Matzot” and it commands us both to eat matzot on the first night and to not eat chametz, or leavened bread, for the entire 7 day holiday. The Torah’s prohibitions regarding chametz seem inordinately severe: the punishment for eating it is greater than for eating most prohibited foods. Moreover, not only Continue Reading »

Pesach – How to Transform the World without Losing Yourself in the Process

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 8, 2011

I would like to share that text and my reflections on a profound Sfat Emet on the topic of Pesach and personal identity.   I found this piece to be particularly meaningful in the context of my comments on parshat Metzorah.  Here is the text: כי זכירה היא נקודה פנימית שאין בה שכתה. ולפי שבשבת מתגלה Continue Reading »

The Evolution of the Mitzvah of Matzah

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on March 19, 2010

 While we rule that it is a mitzvah d’oraitta to eat matzah on the seder night, it is far from clear as far as the simple sense of the verses are concerned. It is interesting to see how Hazal interpreted the verses to come to this conclusion. Regarding matzah, the verses talk of two mitzvot: (a) to eat matzah Continue Reading »

A Pseudo-Korban Pesach

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on March 12, 2010

There is good evidence that the practice of a pseudo-korban pesach existed – not on bringing it on Har HaBayit without a Beit HaMikdash, but outside of the environs of the Beit HaMikdash and Jerusalem. The Tosefta in Ohalot (3:9) tells of a burial that took place in Beit Dagan on erev Pesach. The men, who had not Continue Reading »