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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Archive: January 2023

Rise Like a Lion

by Rabbi Dan Margulies
Posted on January 5, 2023

I am a high school teacher. One challenge I face in my working with teenagers is the difficulty that many of them have waking up in the morning and getting started with their day: tefilla, their studies, and so forth. It is something that is not unique to teenagers.…

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.…

What’s in a Name?

by Rabbi Joel Dinin
Posted on December 22, 2022

I have many names; Joel, rabbi, daddy, sweetie, “Hey you get out of my way”—But which one of these is my real name? The simple answer is—all of them, but how can that be true? A name is NOT who we are, it’s what we do in our connections with other people.…

The Last Kindness

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 17, 2021

Jacob is sick and believes that he is about to die. Eager to ensure that he will be buried in the land of Canaan, he calls Joseph to his bedside and asks him for one final favor: “Do for me chesed ve-emet, kindness and truth.…

Yosef the Tzaddik, Religious Arrogance and the Miracle of Chanukkah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 23, 2011

Yosef is known throughout Rabbinic literature as “Yosef the Tzaddik.”  This phrase alludes to the verse in Amos (2:6), “their selling the Tzaddik for silver”, which is understood to be referring to brother’s selling Yosef for the 30 pieces of silver. …

Faith in God and Personal Responsibility

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 10, 2010

We saw previously that Yehudah and Reuven, while both taking initiative to deal with crisis situations, exhibited very different leadership styles. While Reuven was rash and impetuous, Yehudah thought things through carefully, and when he took on a responsibility, his word was his bond, and he would see the situation through to its resolution.…

God’s Hand and Our Responsibility

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 18, 2009

The story of Yosef and his brothers continues in Mikeitz when Yosef is taken from the dungeon and raised to be the viceroy of Egypt. It is then that his dreams begin to become reality, as his brothers come to Egypt and bow down to Yosef, eventually bringing their youngest brother, Binyamin, with them.…

Faith in God, Not Playing God

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 15, 1997

Parsha Vayigash opens with the climactic moment in the Joseph saga. After having forced his brothers to bring down Benjamin by holding Simeon captive, Joseph plants his silver chalice in Benjamin’s bags and demands that Benjamin remain in Egypt as his slave.…