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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Torah

Tochacha: Cause & Effect

by Eliezer Weinbach
Posted on May 26, 2022

What is the connection between the blessings of Bechukotai and the curses of the tochacha that follow it? Let’s look closely at the blessings. The cause and effect are clear – “Im bechukotai telechu – if you follow my decrees,” then “venatati gishmeichem beitam – I will provide rains in their time” (Lev.…

Constructing Holy Space

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on May 19, 2022

After a long chapter that puts forth the details of Shemita and Yovel, the Torah concludes Parsha Behar with “You shall keep my Sabbaths and revere my Sanctuary” (Lev 26:2). While these are essential mitzvot, why does the Torah conclude its elucidation of the laws of Shemita with two unrelated commands?…

The Ben Ish Mitzri and Halakha

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on May 12, 2022

Sefer Vayikra is a book of laws. However, there are two short narrative sections in the sefer. This sparsity of narrative easily lends itself to a comparison of the two stories. Through an analysis of these stories, we can shed light on the halakhot of Sefer Vayikra in particular, and on the import of Jewish Law in general.…

Striving for Holiness in the Everyday

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on May 5, 2022

In Parshat Kedoshim, we find a plethora of mitzvot. HaShem tells us “You shall each revere his mother and his father,” “Keep My sabbaths,” and “Do not steal” (Lev. 19:3, 19:11). If these mitzvot sound familiar, you are not alone. They are very reminiscent of the Aseret HaDibrot.…

Achrei Mot: Counting Sefirat HaOmer

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on April 28, 2022

What is the purpose of Sefirat HaOmer? We are now well into our yearly journey through Sefirat HaOmer. We began counting on the second day of Pesach and will continue through Shavuot. Day in and day out, week in and week out, we count.…

chips aisle in a grocery store

Chametz She’Avar Alav HaPesach 

QUESTION  Westchester, NY  I have some חמץ שעבר עליו את הפסח. My school is doing a food drive this week. Can I donate my חמץ without concern for הנאה? The food drive is also a competition between classes. If I put it in one of the class boxes, would that be a problem?…

Metzora: Two Tips I Learned In Yeshiva for Overcoming Lashon Hara (Evil Speech)

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on April 7, 2022

Parshat Metzora speaks about the healing process of the metzora from their tzara’at skin affliction. The Sages explain that one suffers from this malady due to speaking lashon hara, evil speech, about others. Lashon hara is such a bad thing that it completely transforms the individual for the worse—to the point that their skin starts to show the effects of this negative behavior! …

The Healing Power of Seeing Each Other

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 31, 2022

This week’s and next week’s Torah portions deal with a skin disease called tzara’at. Our parsha speaks about diagnosing the ailment. The healing process begins with the kohen, the priest, coming and assessing the situation, and deeming the suffering individual’s status that of a metzorah (a leper).…

Kosher Signs Lead to a Kosher Life

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 24, 2022

This week in Parshat Shmini, we learn the signs of a kosher animal. The Torah tells us that we may eat any land animal that has split hooves and chews their cud (Lev. 11:3). We do not know the deeper reasons behind the mitzvot, but there is a way to understand these laws of kashrut that really speaks to me.…

Performing Mitzvot: Now or Later? 

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 10, 2022

With the arrival of Parashat Vayikra, we are now in the parshiot of the korbanot, the sacrifices, which as moderns can sometimes feel a little difficult to relate to. I want to highlight one curious aspect of bringing korbanot that arises in the fifth chapter.…

Moshe’s Transformation: Empowering a Nation

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 3, 2022

What does it feel like to give responsibilities to others? To cede control over a project? In this week’s Parasha, Pekudei, the Mishkan is completed. What becomes clear from a close read of the Pesukim is how nervous Moshe was about the project and, ultimately, how surprised, satisfied, and impressed he was with the work of Betzalel and the craftsmen and builders of the Mishkan.…

Absence of Fire

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on February 24, 2022

Shabbat shalom. I wanted to talk with you this week about fire. In the beginning of this week’s parsha, Moshe gathers the people and teaches them about Shabbat. “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day, you shall rest” (Ex.…