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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: June 2022

Image of Tzitzit

Tzitzit: Mental and Physical

by eweinbach
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 eweinbach
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 eweinbach
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 eweinbach
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 eliyoggev
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 eliyoggev
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.…

Performing Mitzvot: Now or Later? 

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 10, 2022

With the arrival of Parashat Vayikra, we are now in the parshiot of the korbanot, the sacrifices, which as moderns can sometimes feel a little difficult to relate to. I want to highlight one curious aspect of bringing korbanot that arises in the fifth chapter.…

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.…

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?…