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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: December 2022

Selfishness vs Selflessness

by Rabbi Joel Dinin
Posted on December 29, 2022

Let us step back for a moment to a previous parsha, Vayeshev. After losing two sons who were meant to have children with Tamar, Yehuda was concerned about losing a third. The fates of his eldest sons, Er and Onan, were brought on by their own wickedness, yet Tamar was the one who was punished—Yehuda’s selfishness, founded on self preservation, led to Tamar being denied children and a family, just as Yehuda’s actions nearly denied children and a family to Yosef and in many ways denied Yaakov his most beloved son.…

judah bedding tamar dressed as a prostitute and veiled

Deception That’s a Truth, and Deception That’s a Lie

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 24, 2021

How do the women in the Torah navigate a patriarchal society? One very rare model is Sarah. At times, Sarah silently follows Avraham’s directions, even when he misrepresents her–twice!–as his sister.  At other times, however, she is surprisingly very direct, particularly when it comes to Hagar and Yishmael: “Take my maidservant!”…