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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

Birkat HaMazon and the Oral Torah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 2, 2018

Sefat Emet teaches that those who were to enter the Land of Israel would be the beginning of the Oral Torah – the taking of the Divine word and interpreting it and applying it to the lived reality of their lives. …

To Believe or to Have Faith

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on July 26, 2018

The Ten Commandments open with the declaration “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of land of Egypt.” This is often understood to be a mitzvah of belief. Is there such a mitzvah? And what do we mean by belief anyway?…

Leadership and Holiness: Status or Sacred Duty?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on June 14, 2018

“For the entire community – they are all holy!”  It is with these words that Korach challenges the leadership of Moshe.  These are words that on the face of them express a lofty and noble sentiment.  But they are words which ultimately belie an understanding of kedushah and an understanding of leadership that is limited, self-serving, and destructive.…

Words That Heal

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 24, 2018

The Temple rite of the suspected adulteress, the sotah, is profoundly challenging to our contemporary sensibilities. As the Torah describes it, a man who is seized by a fit of jealousy and suspects—with purely circumstantial evidence—that his wife has committed adultery can bring her to the Temple and force her to undergo an ordeal which contains elements of shaming and declarations that presume guilt: The woman’s head is uncovered.…

Is My Electric Shaver Kosher?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 3, 2018

QUESTION:  Can I shave with an electric shaver and are all models permissible? ANSWER:  In two separate verses, the Torah prohibits men to shave their beards.  In parashat Kedoshim, the Torah states: “You shall not destroy (tashchit) the corners of your beards,” (Vayikra 19:27). …

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth? – Part 2

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 26, 2018

May a husband hold his wife’s hand or give her a massage during childbirth, according to halakhah?  We began to answer this question last week and came to the following interim conclusions: A pregnant woman is not considered to be in niddah until either she experiences uterine bleeding (distinct from mere stains), or until a limb of the baby emerges from the womb. …

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth?  – Part 1

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 19, 2018

QUESTION:  I am nine months pregnant, and my husband and I have been doing Lamaze classes to prepare for the birth of our baby.  Part of the Lamaze method includes pressure massage and massage of the abdomen.  I have been told, though, that it is forbidden by halakhah for my husband to do this because I will be in niddah at that time. …

May My Toddler Drink Milk When She is Eating Meat or Is Treif Food Bad For Your Soul?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on April 12, 2018

QUESTION:  My daughter recently turned one year old.  For children of her age, it is recommended that they consume 16 ounces of whole milk a day.  It is hard to get my daughter to drink milk when she is not eating. …

May Kohanim Become Doctors – Part 2

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on March 22, 2018

Two weeks ago we began to explore the question of whether kohanim may become doctors according to halakhah.   We noted that three halakhic arguments could be advanced to question the applicability of this prohibition to the case at hand: (1) Kohanim nowadays are only presumed (hazakha) to be kohanim and might only have the status of doubtful (safek) kohanim; (2) If we are all presumed to be tamei nowadays, then, according to Ra’avad, kohanim do not violate a Biblical prohibition by becoming tamei again by a corpse; (3) According to Yereim, it is not a violation for kohanim to become tamei by the corpse of a non-Jew. …

See and Sanctify

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on March 15, 2018

החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים – This month, the month of Nissan, shall be for you the first of the months.  So opens parashat HaChodesh.  It is the first mitzvah given to the Children of Israel, to sanctify the months – כזה ראה וקדש – like this, when the moon, in the midst of darkness, appears once again, like this shall you see and sanctify.…

May a Kohen Become a Doctor?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on March 8, 2018

This Shabbat we read Parashat Parah to remind us of the preparations that were necessary to undergo in order to be able to bring the korban pesah.  While it is hard for us nowadays to relate to the laws of corpse-impurity detailed in the maftir section, there is one case where these details really matter. …

Atonement and Peace

by jkelsen Posted on February 23, 2018

In Parshiyot Terumah and Teztaveh, the Torah describes the instructions for the construction and inauguration of the Mishkan, alongside the installation of Aaron and his sons as kohanim. Aaron, brother of Moshe, is established as High Priest, chief functionary of the Mishkan.…