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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Pesach

All Who Are Hungry—In And Out Of The House

by Rabbi Eitan Cooper
Posted on March 30, 2023

You’re sitting down at your seder and everyone is enjoying each other’s company, when all of a sudden, you hear a knock at the door. Someone gets up to answer and finds a person who is clearly in need standing at the door.…

When You Can’t Buy Chametz Back After Pesach

Click here to print. As a synagogue rabbi, one of the most complicated halakhic rituals is arranging the sale of chametz before Pesach. Rather than consist of simple agreement between buyer and seller, the chametz is sold through a variety of kinyanim, which can include the giving of silver (kesef), renting land and acquiring property along with it (kinyan agav), a contract (shtar), and even a handshake agreement (situmta).…

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.…

Active Religion

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 1, 2021

What would it mean to take an active role in our religious lives?  The splitting of the Yam Suf (Sea of Reeds) is the bookend to the story of the Exodus, just as the seventh day of Pesach is the bookend to the first day.…

Passover 5781: What Story Are We Telling?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 24, 2021

Dear Friends, I want us to ask ourselves a simple question: What is the story that we will be telling? The central mitzvah of Pesach night is maggid, to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. In many of our homes on Seder night, we will have spirited discussions and debates as we attempt to be doresh – to engage in the story, to bring our personal lens to it, exploring its meaning and relevance to us today.…

Let Them Eat…? When the Day before Pesach Is Shabbat

Rabbi Shalom Messas (1909-2003), an influential Sefardi posek, served as both the Chief Rabbi of Morocco and Jerusalem. He succeeded his longtime teacher Rabbi Yehoshua Berdugo as Chief Rabbi of Morocco in 1945 at the relatively young age of thirty six, and in 1978, he was invited by Israeli Chief Rabbi, Rav Ovadiah Yosef to become the Chief Sefardic Rabbi of Jerusalem.…

Matzah and Moderation

Rav Asher Weiss (b. 1953) grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn and, is one of the most prolific, renowned and respected poskim of our time. His responsa stand out for their clarity of thinking and presentation, and for their creative approach to the challenging halakhic issues of our day. …

Don’t Talk While You’re Eating?

Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg (1915-2006) was a rav and dayyan in Jerusalem, a member of the Chief Rabbinical Court in Israel, and the informal halakhic authority of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The author of the 21-volume set of responsa, Tzitz Eliezer, he remains a widely respected posek, one of the leading voices of the previous generation.…

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.…

The Rehabilitation of Hametz

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 29, 2018

At this time of year, hametz tends to get a bad rap.  In Hassidic literature it symbolizes the yetzer ha’ra, the evil inclination.  The only problem with this symbolism is that for the other 51 weeks of the year we have no problem with hametz; we actually enjoy it a great deal. …