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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Pastoral Parsha

Devarim – Truth and Memory

Posted on August 8, 2019

In this episode, Hody Nemes (’21) and Dr. Michelle Friedman explore the complexities of navigating truth and personal memory, and what to do when they contradict.…

Matot Masei – Living with Guilt

Posted on August 1, 2019

In this week’s episode, Dr. Friedman and Hody Nemes (’21) explore the complicated psychological world of the accidental murderer and the “Cities of Refuge”, and how someone can live with guilt for mistakes they made in the past.…

Pinchas – Raising Good Children

Posted on July 25, 2019

In this week’s episode, Hody and Michelle explore the personalities of two of the main characters in Parshat Pinchas, and consider how their upbringing made them into the individuals described in the Torah. …

Balak – Nature and Society

Posted on July 19, 2019

In this week’s episode, Hody and Dr. Friedman use Bilaam’s relationship with nature to comment on how most human beings relate to nature, and the devastating effects our attitudes towards nature can have on the world if left unchecked.…

Chukat – Feeling the Pain of Others

Posted on July 12, 2019

In this episode, Dr. Friedman and Hody explore the tragic episode of Moshe and the Rock and consider how we as readers can try to more acutely feel his pain, as well as the pain of those closest to us.…

Korach – The Dangers of Charisma

Posted on July 5, 2019

In this episode, Dr. Friedman and Hodi consider the dangers of charisma, as presented in the character of Korach in Sefer Bamidbar, and discuss what contexts charisma is useful, and what contexts it is dangerous.…

Mishpatim – Surpassing Slavery

Posted on January 29, 2019

Dr. Friedman and Dr. Yehuda wonder why the first law that our chapter opens with is slavery and what that might mean for a nation that has just been liberated.  …

Yitro – Mastering Mentorship

Posted on January 23, 2019

Yitro stands as an unparalleled example of excellence in mentorship in the Torah.…

Beshalach – Bemoaning Blessings

Posted on January 15, 2019

When the people complain might it be a reflection of a deeper and more complex relationship with G-d emerging in our parsha?…

Bo – Darkness and Depression

Posted on January 8, 2019

The plague of darkness in Parshat Bo, this week’s Torah portion, is described in vivid detail. Drs. Friedman and Yehuda find the description reminiscent of the psychological plague of melancholic depression.…

Va’eira – Hardened Hearts

Posted on January 2, 2019

How is the word heart used in other contexts in the parsha that might shed light on the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart? Why do people hold on to the hardness in their own hearts despite the pain that it causes others?…

Shemot – Integrating Identities

Posted on December 27, 2018

Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s house but in the first chapter of the Book of Shemot he is forced to make a choice. What are the psychological factors in Moses’s identity struggle and ultimate choice to claim his birth status?…