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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


What’s So Terrible About Avodah Zarah?

by Rabbi Menachem Leibtag
Posted on September 21, 2022

Unequal Justice? – Does Halakha Tolerate Unethical Behavior Towards the Other? Part 2: Acts Against Property

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 20, 2016

Key points In our discussion of distinctions in the area of acts against property, pay attention to the following key points as we work through our sources: Biblical terms – amitcha and rei’echa are the key terms that are used in this area of law.  …

On The Mitzvot of Non-Jews: An Analysis of Avodah Zarah 2B-3A

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 5, 2016

Non-Jews are commanded to observe the seven Noahide laws. A logical corollary of this is that they are to be rewarded for their performance of these mitzvot, and held liable for transgressing them. This assumption, however, is brought into question by the sugyah around the statement of Rav Yosef in Avodah Zara 2B-3A (paralleled in Bava Kama 35a)… This article was originally published in the Milin Havivin, Vol 1.…

Challenging Authority in Horiyot

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 5, 2010

Tractate Horiyot is the last tractate in Seder Nezikin and the smallest tractate in Shas.  It presumably is part of Seder Nezikin as a type of an appendix to tractate Sanhedrin and Makkot, which deal with the power and authority of the Beit Din – to represent the people, the fix the calendar, to judge court cases and to inflict punishment – from monetary fines, to lashes, to the death penalty. …

Mesekhet Avoda Zara and Jewish Identity

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 29, 2010

The last dapim of mesekhet Avoda Zara which address central issues in Kashrut and end with a discussion of kashering and toveling vessels.  This is a somewhat unusual way to end a mesekhet that is devoted to discussing the world of idolatry and its dangers. …

Rabbi Eliezer vs. Rabbi Akiva: Two Models of Torah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 23, 2010

The seventh chapter of Sanhedrin ends with a powerful aggadata: When R. Eliezer fell sick, R. Akiva and his companions went to visit him… The Sages, seeing that his mind was clear, entered his chamber and sat down at a distance of four cubits.…

Understanding Kedusha Through Hilkhot Chanukah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 18, 2009

When studying Chanukah, we often study the classic sugyot from Mesekhet Shabbat (21b-23a). However, a more obscure sugya – “The violators (pritzim) came and profaned it” in Avoda Zara, 52B – provides important insights as well. Based on this verse from Ezekiel 7:22, the Gemara states that when the Beit HaMikdash was violated in the time of the Hasmoneans, the altar lost its sanctity and, when the Hasmoneans were victorious, they needed to dismantle and bury the now desacralized altar.…