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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Purim

Does God Play Dice with the Universe? Games of Chance and the Theology of Purim

Rabbi Yair Bacharach (1639-1702), one of the most important German halakhic decisions of the premodern era and author of the responsa, Chavot Yair, was a student of Rabbi Mendel Bass, (who was himself the student of Rabbi Yoel Sirkis, the Ba”Ch).…

Does God Play Dice with the Universe? Games of Chance and the Theology of Purim

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on February 25, 2021

Rabbi Yair Bacharach (1639-1702), one of the most important German halakhic decisions of the premodern era and author of the responsa, Chavot Yair, was a student of Rabbi Mendel Bass, (who was himself the student of Rabbi Yoel Sirkis, the Ba”Ch).…

Can a Person Write a Megillah in English? – Purim, Unity, and Diversity

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 25, 2021

We know that a sefer Torah must be written in Hebrew. But what about a Megillah? The answer to this question is rooted in how we look at Purim. Is Purim a holiday of unity or one of diversity? The theme at the end of the Megillah is one of unity.…

Guide for an Afternoon Purim Seudah Going into Shabbat Dinner (pores mapah u’mikadesh)

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Zakhor and Megillah For Those Under Quarantine

Question: Can people under quarantine fulfil the mitzvah of megillah by listening on the telephone or by participating via Zoom or the like?  What can these people do regarding listening to parashat Zakhor?   Summary: For megillah – One may rely on those Aharonim who rule that a person fulfils his or her obligation.…

Matanot La’Evyonim: It’s Not Always About You.

Rabbi David Zvi Schneivalg (1915-1968) was the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Vizhnitz and dayan of Vizhnitz in the interwar period, and a community rabbi of the Mahzikei HaDat community in Manchester after World War II. He authored Shraga haMeir, a multi-volume collection of his responsa, from which this responsum is taken (Shraga haMeir 2:99).…

Why Cross-Dressing on Purim is Kosher (Shulchan Aruch 6:96), Joy of Text 4:06

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 20, 2019

These sources accompany the Cross-Dressing on Purim episode of the Joy of Text podcast.   1. Rema, Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayim 696:8 רמ”א, שו”ע אורח חיים תרצ”ו:ח’ ומה שנהגו ללבוש פרצופים בפורים, וגבר לובש שמלת אשה ואשה כלי גבר, אין איסור בדבר מאחר שאין מכוונין אלא לשמחה בעלמא; וכן בלבישת כלאים דרבנן.…

Mishloah Manot, Cultivating Friendship, and the Absence of a Brakha

Rabbi Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg (1884-1966) was the last rector of the Neo-Orthdox Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. In his youth in Lithuania, he had been considered an illui, a young genius, and studied under Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel at Yeshivat Kenesset Yisrael Slobodka.…

Reading the Megillah in English

Rabbi Meir Ben Zion Hai Uziel (1880-1953) was the Rishon Li’tziyyon (Sephardi Chief Rabbi) at the time of the founding of the State of Israel. He served as Chief Rabbi of Salonica, a major Jewish community pre- World War II, and of Tel Aviv.…

Should Mordechai Have Bowed?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 9, 2016

The Peshat of the Megillah is that Mordechai didn’t bow to Haman because of personal rivalry, family hostility, and ethnic pride. I seriously question, considering the consequences, if these reasons are justified. In other words, if that’s the only reason he didn’t want to bow, he really should have.…

Chanuka and Purim – A Study of Their Differences

by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot
Posted on July 5, 2016

From a purely halakhic point of view, we generally regard Chanuka and Purim as equal in status. Both festivals are de-rabanan (rabbinically mandated), and the issue of “pirsum ha-nes” (publicizing the miracle) is central to both of them. This trend of thought finds expression in the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah.…

Women and The Reading of the Megillah

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on July 5, 2016

May women read the Megillah for other women, and for that matter, may women read the Megillah for men? This was originally written for the Torah U-Maddah Journal in 1999. Click here to read the full piece.…