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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Rosh Yeshiva Responds

Balak – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Understanding One’s Personality through Zodiac Signs

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 18, 2024

דָּרַ֨ךְ כּוֹכָ֜ב מִיַּֽעֲקֹ֗ב “There shall step forth a star out of Jacob” (Bamidbar 24:17). This question is taken from a WhatsApp group in which Rabbi Linzer responds to halakhic questions from rabbis and community members. QUESTION—New York I was informed by someone that there are ways to understand one’s personality based on the zodiac signs.…

Chukat – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Reinterring a Corpse Buried in an Otherwise Reserved Plot

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 11, 2024

וַתָּ֤מָת שָׁם֙ מִרְיָ֔ם וַתִּקָּבֵ֖ר שָֽׁם: “and Miriam died there, and was buried there” (Bamidbar 20:1). This question is taken from a WhatsApp group in which Rabbi Linzer responds to halakhic questions from rabbis and community members. QUESTION—Minneapolis, MI A man was mistakenly buried in a plot reserved for a distant relative (his second wife’s cousin).…

Korach – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Cloth Covering on the Shulchan During Keriat HaTorah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 4, 2024

וַיִּקַּ֞ח אֶלְעָזָ֣ר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן אֵ֚ת מַחְתּ֣וֹת הַנְּחֹ֔שֶׁת אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִקְרִ֖יבוּ הַשְּׂרֻפִ֑ים וַיְרַקְּע֖וּם צִפּ֥וּי לַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ “And Eleazar the priest took the copper fire-pans, which they that were burnt had offered; and they beat them out for a covering of the altar” (Bamidbar 17:4). This question is taken from a WhatsApp group in which Rabbi Linzer responds to halakhic questions from rabbis and community members.…

Shelach Lecha – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Giving and Changing Hebrew Names

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 26, 2024

וַיִּקְרָ֥א מֹשֶׁ֛ה לְהוֹשֵׁ֥עַ בִּן־נ֖וּן יְהוֹשֻֽׁעַ “And Moshe called Hoshea ben Nun, Yehoshuah” (Bamidbar 13:16). QUESTION-Chicago A couple, both Jewish, whose wedding I officiated at had a son two years ago. He was circumcised by a mohel on the eighth day but at the pediatrician’s office as a procedure.…

Behaalotecha – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Making Sushi on Shabbat

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 20, 2024

זָכַ֨רְנוּ֙ אֶת־הַדָּגָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נֹאכַ֥ל בְּמִצְרַ֖יִם חִנָּ֑ם אֵ֣ת הַקִּשֻּׁאִ֗ים וְאֵת֙ הָֽאֲבַטִּחִ֔ים וְאֶת־הֶֽחָצִ֥יר וְאֶת־הַבְּצָלִ֖ים וְאֶת־הַשּׁוּמִֽים: We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt for free; the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic (Bamidbar 11:5) QUESTION May one roll sushi on Shabbat?…

Naso – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Birkat Eirusin When the Bride or Groom Cannot Drink Wine

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 13, 2024

מִיַּ֤יִן וְשֵׁכָר֙ יַזִּ֔יר חֹ֧מֶץ יַ֛יִן וְחֹ֥מֶץ שֵׁכָ֖ר לֹ֣א יִשְׁתֶּ֑ה he shall abstain from wine and strong drink: he shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink (Bamidbar 6:3) QUESTION—South Central, USA I’m officiating at a wedding, and the kallah said she can’t drink wine or grape juice.…

Bamidbar – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Conversion Certificate for a Child Born Through Surrogacy

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 6, 2024

שְׂא֗וּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ֙ כָּל־עֲדַ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֖ם לְבֵ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֑ם בְּמִסְפַּ֣ר שֵׁמ֔וֹת כָּל־זָכָ֖ר לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָֽם: Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male, by their polls (Bamidbar 1:2) QUESTION—Providence, RI A couple who could not have children naturally had kids by means of a surrogate (not sure whose sperm or egg or if that’s relevant).…

Bechukotai – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Counting a Security Person in Another Room as the Tenth for a Minyan

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 30, 2024

וִֽישַׁבְתֶּ֥ם לָבֶ֖טַח בְּאַרְצְכֶֽם and dwell in your land safely (Vayikra 26:5) QUESTION—Houston, TX We pray out of the JCC and are required to have a security person at the door when the building is otherwise closed, which includes Shabbat. For financial reasons, we use rotating volunteers, but sometimes, like for Mincha, we have ten men, and only ten men.…

Behar – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Can a Lender Charge the Borrower for the Opportunity Costs of a Loan?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 23, 2024

אַל־תִּקַּ֤ח מֵֽאִתּוֹ֙ נֶ֣שֶׁךְ וְתַרְבִּ֔ית וְיָרֵ֖אתָ מֵֽאֱ-לֹהֶ֑יךָ וְחֵ֥י אָחִ֖יךָ עִמָּֽךְ do not exact from him advance or accrued interest, but fear your God. Let him live by your side as your kinsman (Vayikra 25:36) QUESTION—Washington, D.C. One person wants to lend a large sum of money (short-term loan) to another.…

Emor – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Does Someone Who Becomes Bar Mitzvah During Sefirat HaOmer Count With a Berakhah?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 16, 2024

וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּֽחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת מִיּוֹם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּֽהְיֶֽינָה And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering—the day after the sabbath—you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete(Vayikra 23:15) QUESTION—Baltimore, MD Assuming counting the omer is one mitzvah for the entire period, if you turn 13 in the middle of the counting, are you allowed to say the blessing since there was no obligation to count prior to turning 13?…

Acharei Mot – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Weddings During the Omer

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 1, 2024

To read this post in Spanish, click here To read this post in French, click here To read this post in Hebrew, click here QUESTION—New York, NY I have been invited to a wedding which will take place the last week in May, before Lag ba’Omer.…

Metzora – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Haircuts During Chol HaMoed

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 18, 2024

וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יְגַלַּח אֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וְאֶת־זְקָנוֹ וְאֵת גַּבֹּת עֵינָיו וְאֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ יְגַלֵּחַ And it shall be on the seventh day, he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows; all his hair he shall shave off.”…