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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: November 2022

Vayeira: How to Find Inner Sight

by Raffi Levi
Posted on November 10, 2022

What can we do to easily create intentional motivation in our lives? I often find that when I have trouble beginning an important and challenging task, the simple transition of taking a deep breath helps make the whole process much easier.…

Emerging from the Flames

by Dvir Cahana
Posted on November 3, 2022

My grandmother, Alice Lok Cahana, Hinda Aliza bat Yehuda, was thrown into the gas chamber. Though she was crunched between 200 terrified people, at that moment she was completely and utterly alone. Staring death in the face, she contemplated her 15 years on earth.…

The Patria in our Patriarchs

by Dvir Cahana
Posted on October 20, 2022

In the opaque smoke of battered trust and unrelinquished uncertainty through the void of the pandemic, the upcoming 2022 midterm election serves as a momentary relief, suspending us outside of our worn pessimism. The ability to have a say in future outcomes seems like such a scarce resource these days and restores us with a sense of empowerment.…

abraham's servant approaching rebecca at the well in a renaissance-era painting

Was Rivka a Feminist?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 28, 2021

That question is, of course, anachronistic. A close reading of this week’s parsha and later parashot, however, reveals that Rivka’s marriage to Yitzchak—as well as Rachel and Leah’s marriages to Yaakov, and most likely Sarah’s marriage to Avraham—brought into the Jewish family a woman’s voice and role that might otherwise have been absent.…

17th c. painting of elderly sarah presenting hagar in a red dress with one breast exposed to elderly and half-naked abraham

The “Yes, Dear” That Really Matters

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 22, 2021

The joke goes that for husbands, the most important words are not “I love you,” but “Yes, dear.” Whether for husband or wife, there are two types of “Yes, dear.” There’s a surface “Yes, dear,” and there’s a deeper “Yes, dear.”…

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.”…

Believing is Seeing

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 24, 2021

The rabbis tell us in Pirkei Avot (5:22) “Whoever has….an ayin tova, a good eye….is a student of Avraham; whoever has an ayin ra’ah, a bad eye….is a student of Balaam.” Avraham sees well, whereas Balaam sees poorly. How so? On the face of it, the stories of Avraham and Balaam are parallel.…

Chosenness with a Universalist Impulse, Universalism with a Focus on Family

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 4, 2011

After two failed attempts at directing humanity to a life of holiness and goodness, God, in Lekh Lekha, begins the grand experiment that will be the narrative of the entire Torah and the story of the People of Israel.   With the generations of Adam, God stepped back to see if human beings, having chosen to “know good and evil,” to think and choose for themselves, could choose for themselves a life of holiness. …