Today is October 19, 2021 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Talmud

Kiddushin: Ownership or Partnership? Part 1: Torah Laws

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 31, 2016

Our concept of marriage is one of a mutually entered partnership between husband and wife.  But is this the Torah’s and halakha’s understanding of the institution?  In this lecture, we will look at how the legal/halakhic institution of marriage is conceptualized in the Torah and how that has evolved through Rabbinic times until today.  …

Unequal Justice? – Does Halakha Tolerate Unethical Behavior Towards the Other? Part 4: Halakhic Strategies for Minimizing the Distinctions and Darkhei Shalom

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 20, 2016

Introduction In Part I of this series we explored areas where the halakha – as articulated in the Talmud – has made distinctions between our obligation to Jews and our obligation to Gentiles.  The following chart is based on a similar chart which appeared at the end of Part I.  …

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.  …

Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkai and Zekher Le-Mikdash

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 5, 2016

Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakai (RYBZ), leader of the Jewish people during the period immediately following the destruction of the temple, established a number of edicts (takanot) during his tenure. The Talmud places the total number at nine, six of which are explicitly stated in the Mishnah, and three more are attributed to him by the Talmud.…

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.…

Why Do We Fast?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 30, 2015

Why do we fast? The general understanding is that it acts as a spur for teshuvah, repentance. This explanation works for the fast days examined in the Talmudic tractate of Ta’anit – fasting during times of drought, locust, and the like – but what about the fast days that commemorate tragic historical events?…

Is Christianity Avoda Zara to Christians?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 16, 2011

As both Chanukkah and Christmas draw near, it is appropriate to discuss of the evolution of halakha’s approach to Christianity. Tosafot in Bekhorot, 2b, had said that one does not transgress by having a Christian take an oath in the name of God and a saint.…

Mesechet Berachot: Speaking of Christianity

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 18, 2011

On the very first page (2b) of Mesechet Berachot, the Gemara discusses, on a bit of a tangent, the statement of the father of Shmuel that it is forbidden to go into partnership with a  non-Jew, lest non-Jew will be required to take an oath to verify his claim in a dispute, and this oath will be taken in the name of a foreign god. …

man sheep lamb korban pesach

Mesechet Chullin: Great Gift Giving

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 11, 2011

The end of Chullin deals with many aspects of the non-sanctified gifts to the kohanim – certain cuts of meat from slaughtered animals, and the first shearing of sheep.   A major theme that the meaning and valance of a gift is shaped by the manner in which it is given and which it is received. …

man sheep lamb korban pesach

Mesechet Chullin: Our Limited Role as Creators

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 4, 2011

Towards the end of Mesechet Chullin, the Gemara – in the middle of a discussion about the impurity of animals, and the different components of their bodies – turned to a fascinating conversation about the diversity of the animals of creation, and the phenomenon of animals that are the product of cross-breeding (Chullin 127a): וכשהיה ר”ע מגיע לפסוק זה אומר (תהלים קד, כד) מה רבו מעשיך ה’ יש לך בריות גדלות בים ויש לך בריות גדלות ביבשה שבים אילמלי עולות ביבשה מיד מתות שביבשה אילמלי יורדות לים מיד מתות יש לך בריות גדלות באור ויש לך בריות גדלות באויר שבאור אילמלי עולות לאויר מיד מתות שבאויר אילמלי יורדות לאור מיד מתות מה רבו מעשיך ה’… אמר רב הונא בר תורתא פעם אחת הלכתי לוועד וראיתי נחש שהוא כרוך על הצב לימים יצא ערוד מביניהם וכשבאתי לפני ר’ שמעון החסיד אמר לי אמר הקב”ה הם הביאו בריה שלא בראתי בעולמי אף אני אביא עליהם בריה שלא בראתי בעולמי When R.…

The Price of Freeing Captives

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 28, 2011

The following piece was written shortly after the release of Gilad Shalit in 2011.   Many people found themselves asking whether Gilad’s release was worth the cost of freeing of over one thousand terrorists.  Many newspaper articles and opinion pieces were written on this topic as well, with the large majority of them coming down in favor of this decision.   This topic – how high of a price to pay for securing the freedom of a captive – is actually a topic that arises in the Gemara.…

Mesechet Chullin and Yom Kippur: Becoming Tahor

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 6, 2011

The Gemara Chullin (101a-b) compares the relative severity of the prohibition against a ritually pure (tahor) person who eats the meat of a sacrifice that has become impure (tamei) and the prohibition against a tamei person eating the meat of a tahor sacrifice. …