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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: May 2023

National and Individual Kabbalat haTorah

by Rabbanit Devorah Zlochower
Posted on May 22, 2023

Feminist theologian, Dr. Judith Plaskow, famously begins her major work, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective (1991) with the following words:  Entry into the covenant at Sinai is the root experience of Judaism, the central event that established the Jewish people.…

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!”…

abraham's servant approaching rebecca at the well in a renaissance-era painting

Was Rivka a Feminist?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 28, 2021

That question is, of course, anachronistic. A close reading of this week’s parsha and later parashot, however, reveals that Rivka’s marriage to Yitzchak—as well as Rachel and Leah’s marriages to Yaakov, and most likely Sarah’s marriage to Avraham—brought into the Jewish family a woman’s voice and role that might otherwise have been absent.…

Men and Women Standing at Sinai

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 10, 2021

One of the last mitzvot in the Torah is that of Hakhel, the “gathering together.” On Sukkot following the Shemitah year–the year in which we find ourselves right now–the people would all come together so that, standing as one, they would be fully present as individuals and as a complete community to hear the Torah being read.…

Ani LiDodi, VDodi Li: Towards a More Balanced Wedding Ceremony

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 5, 2016

This article was originally published in the JOFA Journal 4:2 (Summer, 2003) From the chatan’s tisch, to the chatan’s giving of the ring, to the sheva berachot, men play a more prominent role in the traditional wedding ceremony than women. This can be troubling for couples who, while wishing to be respectful of tradition and community, are also looking for ways to have a ceremony that reflects their vision of marriage as an equal partnership.…