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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

The Joy of Text

The Joy of Text Ep. 508: Whispering Sweet Nothings? (Zohar I:49a-b)

by Max Hollander
Posted on April 6, 2020

In this episode we look at a passage from the Zohar which seems to put the woman in charge of the sexual relationship, and we ask the question: what does sleeping on rocks, flattery and apes have to do with all this?…

The Joy of Text Ep. 507: Mechitzah, Gender, and Transgender Activism

by Max Hollander
Posted on April 6, 2020

One of the defining characteristics of an Orthodox synagogue is the mechitzah. But where does it come from and what is it about? On this episode, we discuss the ins-and-outs of mechitza. Is the goal to make women invisible, to create a gender-separate space, or something else?…

The Joy of Text Ep. 506: Sex During the Day (Tractate Niddah 16b-17a)

by Max Hollander
Posted on April 6, 2020

In this mini text episode, we look at a passage in the Gemara (Niddah 16b-17a) which forbids or discourages sex during the daytime and try to parse the different reasons given for this ruling. In the end we discuss how some of this plays out practically and to what degree this is applicable nowadays.…

The Joy of Text Ep. 505: (Re-Release) Does Sexting Lead to Mixed Dancing

by Max Hollander
Posted on April 6, 2020

This episode is a re-release, and was originally recorded at Limmud NY in 2016. In this episode, Dr. Marcus and Rabbi Linzer tackle female masturbation and interview Miryam Kabakov about Eshel, a group for LGBT Orthodox Jews. In the Q&A: is it permissible to talk “dirty”?  …

The Joy of Text Ep. 504: Kissing as a Spiritual Experience (Zohar 2:124B)

by Max Hollander
Posted on November 13, 2019

Kissing as a spiritual experience? In this episode, we explore a cryptic text of the Zohar about the deeper meaning of a kiss. If you would like to learn it yourself, check out Zohar 2:124B.…

The Joy of Text Ep.503: The Infertility Episode

by Max Hollander
Posted on October 30, 2019

What are the halakhic and emotional issues associated with infertility and the Jewish community?  In this episode, we explore the question of fertility treatments and the mitzvah to procreate, and what allowances halakha makes for undergoing such treatments on Shabbat and the halakhic category that applies in this case (is the person sick?…

The Joy of Text Ep. 502: Meeting Your Bashert (Soulmate) on Yom Kipper? (Mishnah Taanit 4:8)

by Max Hollander
Posted on October 7, 2019

Meeting your Beshert (Soulmate) on Yom Kipper? We are kicking off the first mini-text episode of the season with a Mishnah in Taanit, which sheds some light on the nature of Yom Kipper with an interesting ancient custom that young, single, Jewish women performed in the times of the Gemara.…

The Joy of Text Ep.501: The Teshuvah and Guilt Episode

by Max Hollander
Posted on September 23, 2019

With the High Holidays quickly approaching it is time for us to take stock of our year. How should we approach teshuva, repentance, when the misdeeds are complicated and we cannot be confident we will change our future behavior? Is Teshuvah out of the question?…

The Joy of Text Ep. 407: On Matzah and Sex (Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:1)

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 15, 2019

These sources accompany the Matzah and Sex episode of the Joy of Text podcast.   1. Yerushalmi Pesahim 10:1 ירושלמי פסחים י’:א’ ר’ יודן נשייא סחה וצחא שאל לר’ מנא בגין דאתא צחי מהו נישתי. א”ל תני ר’ חייה אסור לאדם לטעום כלום עד שתחשך.…

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.…

Hair Covering Episode, Joy of Text 4:03

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 11, 2019

These sources accompany the hair covering episode of the Joy of Text podcast.   A. Nature of Obligation The verse in Numbers {source ‎1} implies that women (perhaps specifically married women) would normally have their head covered. This point is made explicit from Sifrei {source ‎2}, which emphasizes the fact that this was a norm, and does not frame it as an obligation. …

Rav Hisda’s Seduction Advice to His Daughters, Joy of Text 4:02

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 11, 2019

These sources accompany the seduction episode of the Joy of Text podcast. 1. Shabbat, 140b בבלי מסכת שבת דף קמ עמוד ב אמר להו רב חסדא לבנתיה: תיהוי צניעתן באפי גברייכו, לא תיכלון נהמא באפי גברייכו, לא תיכלון ירקא בליליא, לא תיכלון תמרי בליליא, ולא תשתון שיכרא בליליא, ולא תיפנון היכא דמפני גברייכו.…