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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

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.…

Donating to Shul Building Funds with Ma’aser Kesafim Money

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 15, 2018

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? Giving money to the building of a house of God is the theme of this week’s parasha: Speak to the Children of Israel, and they that bring me an offering (terumah); from every person whose heart moves him to give, you shall take My offering (Ex.…

Meat and Milk Mix-Ups

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 8, 2018

Sally added tomato sauce to a milkhig soup, and then discovered that the tomato sauce did not have a hekhsher and contained meat! She called the company and found out that the meat content was approximately 5%. She knows that she has to kasher her pot, but she wants to know if she has to throw out the soup or can she give it to her doorman?…

Honoring an Abusive Parent?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 1, 2018

Must a Person Honor and Mourn for an Abusive Parent? The short answer is “no.”  One of the core principles in halakha when it comes to our obligation to others is hayekha kodmin, meaning our first ethical obligation is to ourselves.  …

Saying Kaddish for a non-Jewish Parent

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 25, 2018

May a Jew by choice sit shivah and say kaddish for their non-Jewish parent? To answer this question we must address two issues: (1) What is halakhah’s view of the parent-child relationship in these cases? The gemara states, “A person who converts is like a newborn infant,” (Yevamot 22a).…

Praying with a Cross in the Room

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 18, 2018

A person is a patient at Holy Cross Hospital and there is a crucifix on the wall of each room.  Can she make brakhot and daven there? A family wishes to have a bar mitzvah in the large, all-purpose hall of Catholic university, where there is a small cross affixed at the top of the east-facing wall, 20 feet off the ground.…

May a Woman Be a Mohelet?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 4, 2018

May a woman be a mohelet? Although women are not circumcised, they are members of the covenant that the Jewish people, have with God: “You stand this day all of you before the Lord your God.. all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the stranger that is in your camp… that you enter into covenant with the Lord your God…” (Deut.…

For Real This Time, What’s the Story With Christmas Gifts?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 28, 2017

So what is the story with Christmas gifts and office Christmas parties? Last week we saw that the Talmud draws a number of red lines to ensure that our active involvement in the surrounding society does not lead us into religiously problematic areas.…

The Holiday Season – What’s A Frum Jew to Do?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 21, 2017

This time of year, during the “holiday season,” many Jews struggle with how to best negotiate our interaction with the society and culture around us. Can we give Christmas or year-end gifts to our paper carrier? Can we go to our company’s holiday party if it is going to be Christmas-themed?…

There’s No Going Home Again? – Where Do Travelers, Guests, and College Students Light Hanukkah Candles?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 14, 2017

Many of us fondly remember precious moments with our families during Hanukkah – lighting candles, singing songs, eating latkes, and playing dreidel. The family-oriented strand of this holiday is actually deeply woven into its mitzvot and halakhic requirements. The obligation rests not on the individual, as is the case with almost all other mitzvot, but on the household as a unit, ner ish u’veito, a candle for the person and his household.…

Less Fire, More Light – Lighting Hanukkah Candles Without Burning Your House Down

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 7, 2017

The story of Yosef and his brothers has, on the face of it, nothing to do with Hanukkah. But as it is often read right around Hanukkah time, it is not surprising that attempts have been made to find connections to Hanukkah.…

Time to Build the Sukkah!

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on September 18, 2017

There is a practice to build the sukkah immediately following Yom Kippur, to begin involving ourselves with mitzvot as soon as possible so as to turn our teshuvah process into action. But building a sukkah is not just one mitzvah of many mitzvot; it can be seen as a model of how we can live our lives better in the year to come.…