Today is June 26, 2022 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: March 2022

Moshe’s Transformation: Empowering a Nation

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 3, 2022

What does it feel like to give responsibilities to others? To cede control over a project? In this week’s Parasha, Pekudei, the Mishkan is completed. What becomes clear from a close read of the Pesukim is how nervous Moshe was about the project and, ultimately, how surprised, satisfied, and impressed he was with the work of Betzalel and the craftsmen and builders of the Mishkan.…

Absence of Fire

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on February 24, 2022

Shabbat shalom. I wanted to talk with you this week about fire. In the beginning of this week’s parsha, Moshe gathers the people and teaches them about Shabbat. “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day, you shall rest” (Ex.…

Breaking Our Tablets

by Gabriel Greenberg
Posted on February 17, 2022

In this week’s parsha Ki Tisa, Moshe received the two tablets which contain the Ten Commandments. When he  came down and saw the people dancing in front of the golden calf, he smashed those two tablets. This prompts God at the beginning of Exodus Chapter 34 to tell Moshe to “carve two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, ‘asher shibarta’, which you shattered (Ex.…

Response to Failure

by Gabriel Greenberg
Posted on February 10, 2022

As a parent or an educator, there is a challenge which can come up routinely. When our child or our student misbehaves, what should we do?  There are different strategies and approaches that one can take. One can be critical. One can get upset.…

Planting Seeds for the Next Generation

by Gabriel Greenberg
Posted on February 3, 2022

Shalom. This is Gabe Greenberg again, Rabbi and Executive Director of Penn Hillel. I’m excited to be learning Parshat Terumah with you this week. In the Hillel world, we ask a very fundamental question. Given that we have access to our Jewish students for just a four-year window in their young adulthood, what do we want to teach them?…

Thrown to the Dogs: Can One Act So Badly That the Rules Don’t Apply to Them?

by Gabriel Greenberg
Posted on January 27, 2022

Friends, it has been my true privilege these many years to share with you my thoughts on the parsha, both in written form and more recently as videos. Now the time has come to pass the baton over to our amazing rabbis in the field.…

What does memory have to do with belief in God?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 21, 2022

For some people, belief comes easily. From a young age they have believed in God, and that has remained a constant throughout their lives. For others, not so much. There are those who have always struggled with belief. There are those who believed in God in the past, but now find that they have serious doubts and questions and that belief eludes them. …

Fire in the Bronx and the Pillar of Fire

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 14, 2022

I had the privilege the other night to be at a vigil in the Bronx held opposite the building where the recent terrible tragedy occurred, the raging fire that claimed the lives of 19 souls, many of whom were children. What was remarkable that evening was how many of the speakers referenced God: “God is with us,” “God loves us,” “God loves the children.”…

Behar – A Society Based on Kedusha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 15, 2011

How can kedusha be created outside of the Temple?  This is, in many ways, the concern of the second half of the book of Vayikra, and is in particular the concern of parshat Behar.   The goal of the Mikdash was not for God to “dwell” in the Temple, but for God to dwell among us: v’asu li mikdash, vi’shakhanti bi’tokham, “You shall make for me a Temple and I will dwell in their – the people’s – midst.”…

Religious Passion, the Mikdash and the Temptation of Idolatry – Primary Sources

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 25, 2011

In connection with the recent posting on Parshat Shmini and the sin of Nadav and Avihu, I present these sources which speak to both sides of the tension between religious passion and boundaries, between the physicality of the Mikdash and religious experience and the temptation of idolatry.…

Tzav and Vayikra – Some Additional Thoughts

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 22, 2011

In another post we discussed the differences between Tzav and Vayikra, focusing on the order in which the korbanot are listed.    As a wrap-up of that discussion, here are some additional differences worth noting: Tzav’s discussion of the olah is very brief (6:1-6), without an enumeration of all the possible different animals.  …

“No Longer Shall Your Name be Yaakov, but Yisrael” – Personal Transformation while Living with our Past

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 18, 2010

Yaakov Aveinu is a challenging character – one who is traditionally associated with the quality of emet – titen emet li’Yaakov – but who often seems to more be a person of trickery or deceit.  From purchasing the birthright, to stealing the blessing, to using the staves with Lavan’s sheep, he, like his name, works around the truth to get to the desired end result. …