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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

Blinded by the Light

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2020

  What message can we learn from our parsha to give us some guidance during this crisis? Parshat Vayekhel-Pikudei opens with the second story of the Mishkan. After having been commanded by God in the building of the Mishkan in Terumah-TiZaveh, Moshe now, in turn, commands the people to build the Mishkan.…

Zakhor and Megillah For Those Under Quarantine

Question: Can people under quarantine fulfil the mitzvah of megillah by listening on the telephone or by participating via Zoom or the like?  What can these people do regarding listening to parashat Zakhor?   Summary: For megillah – One may rely on those Aharonim who rule that a person fulfils his or her obligation.…

The Mitzvah to Plan for the Future

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 8, 2020

  What does the Torah have to say about a person making concrete plans for the eventuality of her death? Is it appropriate to sign a health care proxy or to make out a will? There is no better example than our patriarch, Jacob.…

Where Does Ma’aser Kesafim Come From, and What Can it Be Used For?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 26, 2019

Can I use my ma’aser kesafim, tithes from my income, to contribute to my synagogue’s building campaign, and can I use it to pay my shul’s membership dues? The idea of tithing is alluded to in this week’s parasha.  We are told that Yitzchak, “Sowed in that land and received in that year a hundredfold, and God blessed him” (Gen.…

One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice For All

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 19, 2019

The issue of who can be seen as a full member of the community arises at the beginning of this week’s parasha and is revisited at the outset of the next. In the opening of Ki Tavo, we read of two mitzvot that apply when a person harvests the produce of the land: the mitzvah of bikkurim, or first fruits, and the mitzvah of viduy ma’aser, the declaration made when a person distributes what remains of his tithes at the end of three years. …

Time to Check the Mezuzot?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 23, 2019

The mitzvah of mezuzah appears at the end of this week’s parasha in what we know of as the second paragraph of Shema: “And you shall write them (these words) on the doorposts of your house and of your gates.” (Deut.…

Leading from the Middle

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 31, 2019

The Israelites have been wandering through the Wilderness for forty years and they are now on the cusp of entering into the Land of Canaan. Things will be different now. There will no longer be the cloud of God to lead them during the day and the pillar of fire to lead them at night.…

The Afternoon Antidote to Our Distracted Lives

by Rabbi Aaron Frank
Posted on July 25, 2019

From the decreasing productivity of the workplace, to bad decisions by drivers leading to tragic accidents, distraction is an issue that challenges each of us and our society each and every day. One need look no further than Google (another place where we get distracted…) to see that there is an entire body of literature all focused on trying to find solutions to this massive concern.…

Encounters with Fear: Parshat Balak

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on July 18, 2019

One of the wonderful perks of having an entire Parsha dedicated to Balak and Bilam’s plot, are the numerous parallels that one finds with the stories of our Avot. At first glance every story in Tanach has references and connections all over Tanach — and yet, upon review, the Bilam story is unique.…

negev desert

Growing Up is Hard to Do

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 11, 2019

Transitions are hard. As the period of wandering in the desert begins to draw to a close, Bnei Yisrael encounter many changes and they anticipate many more. Their leaders begin to die: Miriam and Aharon both die in this week’s parasha, and Moshe will pass away a few months hence.…

For the Entire Congregation is Holy

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 3, 2019

The Korach story, in which Aharon’s right to the priesthood was challenged, ends with the Torah enumerating the special priestly gifts that to which the Kohanim are entitled (Bamidbar 18:8-20).  On this special status of the priesthood, the Sifrei comments: “There are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of kingship, and the crown of the priesthood.…

The Importance of Nishma

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 5, 2019

At the opening of Bamidbar, the Israelites prepare to finally move out from the foot of Mt. Sinai and to venture into the larger world.  They must take the Torah and mitzvoth that they have received and bring it into their lives, so that every movement is guided and shaped by the Torah.…