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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: January 2023

How Many Expressions of Divine Redemption?

by Rabbi Dan Margulies
Posted on January 19, 2023

The beginning of Va’era includes a passage familiar to many, which includes the four leshonot of geulah, four expressions of divine redemptive power. This is the source for the idea that we should have four cups of wine or grape juice at the Pesach seder, corresponding to each of the four steps of the progression of God’s taking us out of slavery in Egypt (Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:1).…

Yachatz: God Is With Us in Our Brokenness

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on April 14, 2022

One of the main purposes of the Pesach seder is to remind us that HaShem can help us today just like HaShem helped Am Yisrael many years ago in Egypt. The yachatz part of the seder takes this to the next level through teaching that many times our future redemption is hidden in our very moments of brokeness and struggle. …

mustard seeds

Defining Kitniyot 

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 13, 2022

QUESTION  Rav Linzer, can you weigh in on why (or why not) sesame seeds and mustard seeds are kitniyot?  ANSWER  It is hard if not impossible to nail down a definition of what type of produce is included in kitniyot. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggrot Moshe OC 3:63) acknowledged the two reasons given for the prohibition of kitniyot: (1) that these foods can be used to make flour and (2) that wheat and barley often get mixed in with these foods.…

Active Religion

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 1, 2021

What would it mean to take an active role in our religious lives?  The splitting of the Yam Suf (Sea of Reeds) is the bookend to the story of the Exodus, just as the seventh day of Pesach is the bookend to the first day.…

Passover 5781: What Story Are We Telling?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 24, 2021

Dear Friends, I want us to ask ourselves a simple question: What is the story that we will be telling? The central mitzvah of Pesach night is maggid, to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. In many of our homes on Seder night, we will have spirited discussions and debates as we attempt to be doresh – to engage in the story, to bring our personal lens to it, exploring its meaning and relevance to us today.…