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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: October 2022

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.…

Act Before You Feel

by Adam Cohen
Posted on August 25, 2022

Do I kiss somebody because I love them or feel love for that person after I kiss them? William James does not think that we lose something valuable and cry because we are sad. Or that we meet a bear, are frightened and run.…

The Equalizing Myth

by Adam Cohen
Posted on August 11, 2022

In March 2020, a theory emerged that many people loved. By April 2020, it had been completely shot down. I am talking about the idea that coronavirus, or life in lockdown, had an equalizing effect. It did not discriminate against anyone!…

Bring Your B-Game

by Eliezer Weinbach
Posted on July 7, 2022

Your community is running a fundraiser but you’ve never made fundraising calls before. Your synagogue needs a minyan but you are often late. A sick person down the block needs a visitor but you don’t know what to say. What if you mess up?…

Image of Tzitzit

Tzitzit: Mental and Physical

by Eliezer Weinbach
Posted on June 23, 2022

When commanding us to wear tzitzit, the pasuk says “uzchartem et kol mitzvot HaShem vaasitem otam – you shall remember all the commandments of G-d and you shall perform them” (Num. 15:39). There are two aspects here, remembering and doing. But shouldn’t vaasitem be enough?…

Taking Inclusion Seriously

by Eliezer Weinbach
Posted on June 16, 2022

How should we respond when there are those in our community who tell us that they feel excluded? In this week’s parsha Beha’alotcha, two people explain that they were tamei meit at the time of the Korban Pesach, and were therefore unable to bring it (Num 9:6).…

Nazir: The Rebalancing Act

by Eliezer Weinbach
Posted on June 9, 2022

Who exactly is the option of Nezirut for? The Nazir takes it upon themselves to refrain from all grape products and hair cutting, and to avoid ritual impurity imparted by the dead (Num. 6:3-6). At a glance, it would seem that anyone would be invited to take this on if they so choose.…

Tochacha: Cause & Effect

by Eliezer Weinbach
Posted on May 26, 2022

What is the connection between the blessings of Bechukotai and the curses of the tochacha that follow it? Let’s look closely at the blessings. The cause and effect are clear – “Im bechukotai telechu – if you follow my decrees,” then “venatati gishmeichem beitam – I will provide rains in their time” (Lev.…

Constructing Holy Space

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on May 19, 2022

After a long chapter that puts forth the details of Shemita and Yovel, the Torah concludes Parsha Behar with “You shall keep my Sabbaths and revere my Sanctuary” (Lev 26:2). While these are essential mitzvot, why does the Torah conclude its elucidation of the laws of Shemita with two unrelated commands?…

Metzora: Two Tips I Learned In Yeshiva for Overcoming Lashon Hara (Evil Speech)

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on April 7, 2022

Parshat Metzora speaks about the healing process of the metzora from their tzara’at skin affliction. The Sages explain that one suffers from this malady due to speaking lashon hara, evil speech, about others. Lashon hara is such a bad thing that it completely transforms the individual for the worse—to the point that their skin starts to show the effects of this negative behavior! …

The Healing Power of Seeing Each Other

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 31, 2022

This week’s and next week’s Torah portions deal with a skin disease called tzara’at. Our parsha speaks about diagnosing the ailment. The healing process begins with the kohen, the priest, coming and assessing the situation, and deeming the suffering individual’s status that of a metzorah (a leper).…

Purim Megillah

Directing our Energies: Renewal & Acceptance

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 17, 2022

As we come out of Purim, I wanted to share a message related not just to this incredible holiday, but to this life moment that we find ourselves in. At the end of the Megillah, the Jewish people accept upon themselves the holiday of Purim and the mitzvot associated with it.…