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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Shabbat

section of ancient amidah text in faded ink in hebrew on parchent or scroll

Our God, or God of Our Forefathers?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 14, 2021

The Amidah prayer opens with a blessing about the forefathers. It begins like this: “Blessed are you God, Our God, God of our forefathers,” and it then continues to name those forefathers explicitly: “God of Avraham, God of Yitzchak, God of Yaakov.”…

painting featuring a giraffe, tiger, and elephant with trees and blue sky in the background. cheerful painting. angel hovers over the giraffe at the back of the line of the three animals.

What Will You Create?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 30, 2021

The Torah opens with God creating the world during the Six Days of Creation. Then follows Shabbat: va’yakhulu haShamayim, “And the Heavens and Earth, and all their hosts were completed.” Every Friday night, we open kiddush by reciting this verse and the verses that follow.…

Shabbat and Fair Trade Chocolate

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 22, 2021

The giving of the Ten Commandments was an earth-shattering, never-before-experienced event. God revealed Godself directly to the entire Israelite people. It was the most profound Divine-human encounter to have ever occurred, never again to be repeated in world history. But while the event itself was never repeated, the telling of that event most definitely was.…

Is Inclusion a Jewish Value?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 27, 2021

Is inclusion a Jewish value? The answer seems obvious. God enjoins the Israelites, “You shall have one standard for stranger and citizen alike” (Leviticus 24:22). Those who might otherwise be at the margins of society are to be equal members. My wife, however, hates the word “inclusion.”…

Religious Life and/or Halakha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 8, 2021

What is the place of religious passion in the life that is dedicated to halakha? After eight days of sanctifying and inaugurating the Mishkan, a fire comes out from heaven and consumes the final sacrifices of the inauguration. The people are so overwhelmed by religious feeling that they bow down and prostrate themselves.…

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.…

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

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What Do We Mean By Faith?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 29, 2021

After the dramatic scene of the Egyptians being drowned in the Yam Suf, the Torah tells us, “Bnei Yisrael saw what the mighty hand that God had done in Egypt, וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּה’ וּבְמֹשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ – and they believed in God and in Moshe, his servant.”…

“To Bow and to Bend We Won’t be Ashamed…” Two Understandings of the Yom Kippur Prostrations

Rabbi Yekutiel Yehudah Halberstam (1905-1994) was the founding Rebbe of the Sanz-Klausenberg chassidic court. A Holocaust survivor, Rav Halberstam established various organizations dedicated to rebuilding Torah learning after the war. He spoke frequently about the importance of studyingTalmud and even stated that the essence of chassidus is to learn Gemara, something quite unusual for a Chassidic rebbe.…

Silence; sculpture of face holding finger up to mouth for in a library

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.…

Will the Real Shabbat Please Stand Up: The Sabbath in the Two Versions of the Aseret Hadibrot

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 19, 2020

Blinded by the Light

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2020

  What message can we learn from our parsha to give us some guidance during this crisis? Parshat Vayekhel-Pikudei opens with the second story of the Mishkan. After having been commanded by God in the building of the Mishkan in Terumah-TiZaveh, Moshe now, in turn, commands the people to build the Mishkan.…