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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Rosh Hashana

Listening to the Silence

In the Time of Coronavirus

Rosh HaShanah is referred to as a zikhron teruah, of remembrance of shofar blasts, and when it falls out on Shabbat, as it does this year, we only have the memory of the blasts, not the blasts themselves. On one level this is a loss: we will be denied the stirring, powerful sounds of the shofar.…

One for All and All for One? Individual and Communal Obligations of Shofar

Rav Mordechai Yehuda Leib Winkler (1845-1932, Hungary) was a student of the Ketav Sofer, the son of the Chatam Sofer and served as the Rabbi and Rosh HaYeshiva of Mád in Northern Hungary. His book of responsa, Levushe Mordechai, contains 1555 separate responsa addressed to 174 different locations (including 4 to the United States), testifying to his popularity and importance as a posek.…

Yom (Zikhron)Teruah: A Lexical and Theological Investigation

by Rabbi Jon Kelsen
Posted on September 15, 2020

A Striving Grounded in Reality

Rabbi Yitzhak Weiss hy”d was a highly-regard Hungarian rabbi before the Second World War. He served as the Rav of Odleburg and then of Verbo. In his time, he was well known for the breadth of his knowledge; his teacher, the Shevet Sofer, is said to have referred to him as “my very own bookcase.”…

Hearing Shofar Over A Loudspeaker or on a Radio: A Teshuvah from Rav Ben-Zion Uziel

HaRav Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1880-1953) served as Sepharadi chief rabbi of Tel Aviv-Jaffa (earlier Jaffa) during the period of the British Mandate, for a time alongside Rav Kook. In 1939, he was appointed Rishon LeTzion, Sephardi chief rabbi of the Land of Israel, and served in that position until his death in 1953.…

The Prayers of Small Gestures

To Lead, Perchance to Dream

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 29, 2016

In memory of Shimon Peres, z”l, 1923-2016 The people about to enter the Land of Israel are different than those who left Egypt a generation earlier. These people were born free from slavery and can face the future without fear. They have forged a deep and lasting relationship with God over forty years in the wilderness.…

Why Doesn’t Yom Kippur Come Before Rosh HaShana?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 25, 2016

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 the Divine gift of atonement.…

The Mitzvah of Shofar

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 4, 2016

This shiur focuses on the question of whether the mitzvah of shofar on Rosh HaShana is to blow or to hear the shofar. In addition to addressing some of the halakhic aspects of that question, it attempts to see how the טעמי המצוה interact with its halakhic formulation, and how this enables a fuller way of resolving some of the halakhic tensions between hearing and blowing.…

Ten Spiritual Kernels For The Yamim Nora’im

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on July 5, 2016

Please enjoy this recording of a High Holidays Sermon that Rav Avi gave in California last month. Click here for the PDF source sheet. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4…

More Kingship, Less Judgment

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 10, 2015

Rosh Hashanah is a Yom HaDin, a Day of Judgment. We will stand before God, and God will take measure of our deeds of the past year. This characterization of the day opens and frames the Zikhronot of Musaf: “Atah zokher ma’aseh olam, u’foked kol yitzurei kedem,” “You, God, remember the deeds of everyone in the world, and recall all those from previous times … and regarding the countries it will be said which is for sword and which is for peace, which is for hunger and which for abundance, and all creatures are recalled, to be remembered for life or for death.” …

The Teshuva of Kingship

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 23, 2014

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, many of us are preparing for this Day of Judgment by engaging in the traditional process of teshuvah, of repentance. This process, as described by the Rabbis, is one that is focused inward. It involves serious self-reflection: assessing our behavior over the past year, truly regretting our sins and misdeeds, and committing to act differently in the future.…