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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Pesach

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. …

The Joy of Text Ep. 407: On Matzah and Sex (Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:1)

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 15, 2019

These sources accompany the Matzah and Sex episode of the Joy of Text podcast.   1. Yerushalmi Pesahim 10:1 ירושלמי פסחים י’:א’ ר’ יודן נשייא סחה וצחא שאל לר’ מנא בגין דאתא צחי מהו נישתי. א”ל תני ר’ חייה אסור לאדם לטעום כלום עד שתחשך.…

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. …

Midnight Approaches and I haven’t Eaten the Afikomen

This teshuvah is the fifth in a new series of teshuvot related to the yamim tovim. Each teshuvah is introduced with a small biography of the author, and teshuvot are chosen to reflect a diverse range of halakhic approaches featuring pre-modern and modern poskim from different geographical areas.…

What’s So Bad About Chametz?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 13, 2017

What is so bad about chametz?   On Pesach, not only may we not eat it, we may not derive any benefit from it, and we may not even own it.   And before Pesach we must search it out and destroy it. …

Being In A House With Hametz

A Tale of Two Seders: Are We Defined by Law or Narrative?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 12, 2016

The question of studying halakha vs. telling the story at Seder Pesach influences the way we understand our own obligation to know and study the halakha. It is clear that the halakha tells us to tell the story and does not tell us to study the halakhot.…