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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Torah

Balak – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Understanding One’s Personality through Zodiac Signs

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 18, 2024

דָּרַ֨ךְ כּוֹכָ֜ב מִיַּֽעֲקֹ֗ב “There shall step forth a star out of Jacob” (Bamidbar 24:17). This question is taken from a WhatsApp group in which Rabbi Linzer responds to halakhic questions from rabbis and community members. QUESTION—New York I was informed by someone that there are ways to understand one’s personality based on the zodiac signs.…

Don’t Play Dumb With Me!

by Rabbi Daniel Blumenthal Hoffman
Posted on July 18, 2024

If you read the pshat, or simple meaning, of the story of Bilaam, he seems to be a slow learner, but redeemable as a person. He accepts the request of Balak, the king of Moab, to curse the Jewish people while providing the caveat that he can only say what God tells him to.…

Chukat – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Reinterring a Corpse Buried in an Otherwise Reserved Plot

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 11, 2024

וַתָּ֤מָת שָׁם֙ מִרְיָ֔ם וַתִּקָּבֵ֖ר שָֽׁם: “and Miriam died there, and was buried there” (Bamidbar 20:1). This question is taken from a WhatsApp group in which Rabbi Linzer responds to halakhic questions from rabbis and community members. QUESTION—Minneapolis, MI A man was mistakenly buried in a plot reserved for a distant relative (his second wife’s cousin).…

Spare the Rod

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on July 11, 2024

Why are Moshe and Aharon barred from entering the Land of Israel? What was so wrong about hitting the rock? After all, God explicitly tells Moshe to take his staff with him when going to speak to the rock (Bamidbar 20:8).…

Korach – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Cloth Covering on the Shulchan During Keriat HaTorah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 4, 2024

וַיִּקַּ֞ח אֶלְעָזָ֣ר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן אֵ֚ת מַחְתּ֣וֹת הַנְּחֹ֔שֶׁת אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִקְרִ֖יבוּ הַשְּׂרֻפִ֑ים וַיְרַקְּע֖וּם צִפּ֥וּי לַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ “And Eleazar the priest took the copper fire-pans, which they that were burnt had offered; and they beat them out for a covering of the altar” (Bamidbar 17:4). This question is taken from a WhatsApp group in which Rabbi Linzer responds to halakhic questions from rabbis and community members.…

Korach’s Surprising Legacy

by Rabbi Aaron Finkelstein
Posted on July 4, 2024

Growing up, Korach came up twice a year. At summer camp Korach was a biblical archvillain. Campers and staff would read this parasha and derive lessons about holiness, jealousy and power. During one memorable year, a group of counselors organized an unauthorized staff meeting in an attempt to create a more democratic leadership structure at camp.…

Shelach Lecha – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Giving and Changing Hebrew Names

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 26, 2024

וַיִּקְרָ֥א מֹשֶׁ֛ה לְהוֹשֵׁ֥עַ בִּן־נ֖וּן יְהוֹשֻֽׁעַ “And Moshe called Hoshea ben Nun, Yehoshuah” (Bamidbar 13:16). QUESTION-Chicago A couple, both Jewish, whose wedding I officiated at had a son two years ago. He was circumcised by a mohel on the eighth day but at the pediatrician’s office as a procedure.…

Leadership and Representation

by Rabbi Michael Gordan
Posted on June 26, 2024

Parashat Shelach-Lecha contains few mitzvot. Of its two mitzvot asei, positive commandments, the first is challah, the commandment to take a portion of a dough made from the five grains and give it as a gift to the priests. The Torah introduces this concept with the phrase “בבאכם אל-הארץ” in English—“when you come to the land.”…

Daughters of the Israelite Revolution: Women Thought Leaders in the Exodus Story

by Judy Klitsner
Posted on June 26, 2024

Judy Klitsner from Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies explores the concept of imposter syndrome and its implications for personal and national identity, tracing its relevance from the daughters of Egypt to the daughters of Zelophehad.…

Returning to Gan Eden: In Search of the Torah’s Genetic Code (Audio Only)

by Rabbi Dovi Nadel
Posted on June 26, 2024

Rabbi Dovi Nadel from SAR High School/National Bible Contest suggests the foundational stories in Bereishit, such as Gan Eden, Cain and Abel, and the Flood, serve as the genetic code for understanding the entire Torah, and demonstrates how these narratives are reflected in and inform the stories of Avraham and beyond.…

“You Shall Not Return to Egypt”: A Theological and Political Science Analysis

by Rabbi Zachary Truboff
Posted on June 26, 2024

Rabbi Zach Truboff from the International Beit Din delves into the prohibition against returning to Egypt, exploring its deeper significance beyond mere geography, and discusses the historical, ethical, and spiritual implications.…

The Biblical Ger: Is He a Jew or Gentile?

by Rabbi Menachem Leibtag
Posted on June 26, 2024

Rabbi Menachem Leibtag from Yeshivat Har Etzion explores the different interpretations and applications of the term “ger” (stranger or convert) in the Torah, highlighting its significance and implications for both Jewish law and communal responsibilities.…