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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

a very realistic oil painting featuring a beautifulb bright red tree in autumn. a grassy walkway sits to the left. on the left side of the tree (our left) we see a bright yellow sunset. on the right side, the sky is a purple-y blue and some branches are barren. the hay on the ground is golden and red- it's a majestic fall scene.

Shmini Atzeret: The Yom Tov of Follow-Through

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 23, 2021

Shmini Atzeret is a hard holiday to understand. It has its own identity and its own name. It is Shmini, the eighth day of Sukkot, and it is a day of “atzeret,” of gathering. But what is that supposed to mean?…

There’s No Place Like Home

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 17, 2021

Sukkot is a yom tov that focuses on the idea of home.  We dwell in a sukkah, which serves as a substitute home. We leave our house our permanent abode and reside for one week in the sukkah, a temporary abode.…

Men and Women Standing at Sinai

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 10, 2021

One of the last mitzvot in the Torah is that of Hakhel, the “gathering together.” On Sukkot following the Shemitah year–the year in which we find ourselves right now–the people would all come together so that, standing as one, they would be fully present as individuals and as a complete community to hear the Torah being read.…

God Is King. What Does That Mean for Us?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 2, 2021

What is the meaning of Rosh HaShanah as a day of kingship? The idea of kingship is central to Rosh HaShanah. In the third blessing of Shmoneh Eisrei, starting with Rosh HaShanah and moving all the way through Yom Kippur, we say that God is not HaEl HaKadosh, “Holy God,” but rather HaMelech HaKadosh, or “Holy King.”…

Retelling the Story of Corona

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 27, 2021

How do we talk about this last year-and-a-half that we have been living through? What is the story that we tell? This week’s parsha opens with the mitzvah of bikkurim, of the bringing of the first fruits to the Temple. This mitzah involves giving those first fruits to the kohen (priest) and saying thanks to God in the form of a declaration.…

Parenting and the Dangers of a Shared Voice

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 20, 2021

I want to say something that might sound a little shocking. When it comes to child-rearing and parenting, I believe that two parents should not speak in the same voice, at least not all the time, and at least not between themselves.…

The Sanctity of the Subway

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 13, 2021

The Torah scroll is one of our most sacred religious objects, and so it is reasonable to ask:  What is the best way for us to act so as to honor its sanctity? Intuitively, we should do our utmost to keep it separated and elevated from the grime and gore of our physical reality.…

Moving from the Real to the Ideal Copy

In the Time of Coronavirus

The Torah commands us in the laws of Shmita for the first time in Shemot 23:11: “And six years you shall sow thy land, and shall gather in the fruits thereof. But the seventh year you shall relinquish it; that the poor of your people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat.…

Where Does True Religiosity Start?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 30, 2021

What behavior do we identify as religious: performing the ritual mitzvot, or the interpersonal ones? The answer, experientially and attitudinally, has been the former. Ritual mitzvot are distinctive. They set us apart from the rest of the world; they identify us as Jewish.…

Shabbat and Fair Trade Chocolate

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 22, 2021

The giving of the Ten Commandments was an earth-shattering, never-before-experienced event. God revealed Godself directly to the entire Israelite people. It was the most profound Divine-human encounter to have ever occurred, never again to be repeated in world history. But while the event itself was never repeated, the telling of that event most definitely was.…

The Connecting Gate

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 16, 2021

The Book of Devarim–also known as Deuteronomy–presents us with a paradox. This book is completely Moses’s words: It is his valedictory speech to the Israelites and at the same time the divine word of God. How can both of these things be true? …

Words Create Worlds

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 9, 2021

We all know that words can hurt and words can heal. This happens when our words are directed at others. But what about other contexts? The words we use may help us articulate our thoughts more or less clearly, or reflect our backgrounds or education.…