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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Torah

Metzora – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Haircuts During Chol HaMoed

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 18, 2024

וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יְגַלַּח אֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וְאֶת־זְקָנוֹ וְאֵת גַּבֹּת עֵינָיו וְאֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ יְגַלֵּחַ And it shall be on the seventh day, he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows; all his hair he shall shave off.”…

Outside the Camp

by Rabbi Ilay Ofran
Posted on April 18, 2024

Translated from the Hebrew by Elisha Gordan Parashat Metzora is famously difficult to unpack. It deals with obscure illnesses that can render a human impure and the convoluted processes of purification that can counteract those effects. These illnesses are mostly unknown today, and the laws detailed in the parasha have fallen out of practice.…

Tazria – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Using a Mohel Who is Not Shomer Shabbat

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 11, 2024

וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי יִמּוֹל בְּשַׂר ערְלָתוֹ׃ (Vayikra 12:3) וביום השמיני ימול בשר ערלתו ואפילו בשבת “‘On the eighth day you shall circumcise his flesh’ – and even on Shabbat” (Shabbat 132a). QUESTION—New York, NY In a small town without a traditional mohel nearby, would we be lenient on who the mohel is to avoid postponing a Shabbat brit milah?…

Sending the Sick Outside the Camp

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 11, 2024

Who are our modern-day metzoraim, the people who are pushed outside of normal society and keep distant and hidden from everyone else? The metzora is not a leper, but he is much like one. He has a serious skin disease and is sent outside of the Israelite camp, in an area that would eventually become outside the city walls of the Land of Israel.…

Shemini – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Havdalah: Before Tzeit/Lost Sense of Smell

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 4, 2024

וּֽלְהַבְדִּ֔יל בֵּ֥ין הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ וּבֵ֣ין הַחֹ֑ל וּבֵ֥ין הַטָּמֵ֖א וּבֵ֥ין הַטָּהֽוֹר׃ for you must distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the impure and the pure; (Vayikra 10:10). Havdalah for Kids Before Tzeit QUESTION—New England, USA For many of my families, day light savings time means that Havdalah will be later than their kids bed time.…

Shemini: The Perfect Parasha for these Challenging Times

by Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
Posted on April 4, 2024

If you go to shul this weekend, listen to the Torah reading, and are left with an eerie feeling, you will be in good company. Furthermore, if you didn’t know otherwise, you’d be excused for thinking that this week’s Torah portion was written by a contemporary theologian sometime after October seventh.…

Tzav – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Using Pet Food That is Less Than 50% Chametz on Pesach

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 28, 2024

QUESTION—Denver, CO Rabbi Linzer, what is your view on using pet food on Pesach that is ta’arovet chametz—less than 50% percent grain—instead of trying to find grain-free pet food? This is important to dog owners who find it difficult to switch foods.…

Jews are Like Onions: The Importance of a Layered Identity

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on March 28, 2024

If I wasn’t a rabbi, what would I be? If I were to lose my rabbinic learning, training, experience and practice, what would be left? My identity as a father? A husband? A friend? What if those were lost as well?…

Vayikra – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Kashering a Frying Pan

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 20, 2024

וְאִם־מִנְחָ֥ה עַל־הַמַּֽחֲבַ֖ת קָרְבָּנֶ֑ךָ סֹ֛לֶת בְּלוּלָ֥ה בַשֶּׁ֖מֶן מַצָּ֥ה תִֽהְיֶֽה: If your offering is a meal offering on a griddle, it shall be of choice flour with oil mixed in, unleavened. Vayikra 2:5 QUESTION—Washington, D.C. Can a kosher frying pan used to cook a treif chicken with no oil or anything be kashered?…

Taking Risks in Our Relationship with God

by Rabbi Dani Passow
Posted on March 20, 2024

In Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Here I Am, the following scene unfolds with the protagonist, Jacob, and his wife Julia. Jacob narrates: “Let’s do something special,” I suggested a month before Julia’s fortieth birthday. “Something unlike us. A party. A blowout: band, ice cream truck, magician.”…

Pekudei – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Halakhic Status of Bread Made with Both Wheat and Almond Flour

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 14, 2024

וַיַּֽעֲרֹ֥ךְ עָלָ֛יו עֵ֥רֶךְ לֶ֖חֶם לִפְנֵ֣י הֹ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה הֹ אֶת־משֶֽׁה He set upon it an arrangement of bread before Hashem as Hashem had commanded Moses (Shemot 40:23). QUESTION—Washington, D.C. A bread made with mostly rice flour but some wheat flour would be HaMotzi if you could taste the wheat.…

Consciousness for Crafting a Sacred Space

by Rabbanit Yaffah Aronoff
Posted on March 14, 2024

The close of the Book of Exodus is breathtaking. “The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of God filled the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Moshe could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud rested upon it and the glory of God filled the Tabernacle” (Ex.…