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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Torah

Donkey Stories

by Rabbi Daniel Epstein
Posted on June 22, 2023

A boy was daydreaming during class one day and started wondering. If I am riding on a beam of light and turn on a flashlight will it go past me? What an interesting question. Some might scoff and think it was a worthless inquiry, but not this boy.…

You Gotta Have Faith, Faith, Faith

by Rabbi Daniel Epstein
Posted on June 15, 2023

“I am not afraid, for God is with me. I was born to do this”— Joan of Arc Joan of Arc uttered these immortal words as she was setting out on her journey to battle the English army. This was a woman with bitachon, with faith. …

A Leadership of Faith, Not Fear

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 15, 2023

Originally published June 2015 Shlach is as much a story of leaders as people. It is a story of leaders both poor and good. Ten of the twelve spies, poor leaders, saw challenges that confronted them in Canaan and ran: “We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we” (Bamidbar, 13:31).…

Leadership, Humility and Respect

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 8, 2023

Originally published June 1998 In Behaalotecha, the Torah begins its narrative of the travels of the Israelites through the wilderness of Sinai. The stories of the Israelites’ sojourns, their sins and their quarrels, give us insight into the character of the people and especially their leaders.…

Don’t Curse the Darkness, Create Light

by Rabbi Daniel Epstein
Posted on June 8, 2023

The purely righteous do not complain of the dark, they increase the light; they do not complain of evil, they increase the good; they do not complain of heresy, but increase faith; they do not complain of ignorance, they increase wisdom.”…

The March of Flags

by Rabbi Josh Pernick
Posted on May 18, 2023

There’s something remarkable about flags. A simple wooden pole, with a designed fabric attached, can immediately inspire within us intense feelings of camaraderie or revulsion. Friend or foe is often decided based on what is depicted in that design. While flags carry such strong associative connections for us today, their connective capabilities were clear even in the times of our ancestors in the wilderness.…

Chuppah and Har Sinai

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 18, 2023

Republished from August 2009 When we move from sefer Vayikra to sefer Bamidbar, we are finally moving away from Har Sinai, where Bnei Yisrael have been for almost a year. From the middle of Shemot through the end of Vayikra, they have been encamped at the foot of Har Sinai, having received the Torah, mitzvot and laws, and then all the laws of the Kohanim, through Kedoshim and Behar Bechukotai.…

Living in Holy Time

by Rabbi Josh Pernick
Posted on May 10, 2023

From the very beginning, the Torah directs us to sanctify time. The first day in the Torah concludes “וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד—there was evening, there was morning, one day” (Gen 1:5). We are commanded in the first mitzvah given to our people as a nation “הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים” (Ex.…

Has our Relationship Lost its Sizzle?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 10, 2023

Republished from May 2014 In the blessings to be bestowed on the people if they follow God’s commandments and observe God’s laws—the rains will come in their appointed season, the land will bring forth its fruit, there will be peace in the land, and the people will be fruitful and multiply—it finishes with a bizarre verse “I will place my Tabernacle (mishkani) in your midst, and My soul will not abhor you” (Vayikra 26:11).…

Looking Beyond Ourselves

by Rabbi Eitan Cooper
Posted on May 3, 2023

In the midst of describing all the holidays, Parsha Emor has a one pasuk break, in which we are commanded:  וּֽבְקֻצְרְכֶ֞ם אֶת־קְצִ֣יר אַרְצְכֶ֗ם לֹֽא־תְכַלֶּ֞ה פְּאַ֤ת שָֽׂדְךָ֙ בְּקֻצְרֶ֔ךָ וְלֶ֥קֶט קְצִירְךָ֖ לֹ֣א תְלַקֵּ֑ט לֶֽעָנִ֤י וְלַגֵּר֙ תַּעֲזֹ֣ב אֹתָ֔ם אֲנִ֖י יְקֹוָ֥ק אֱלֹקֵיכֶֽם׃ And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I יקוק am your God (Lev.…

Land of Milk and Honey—Exploring the Blessing of Israel

by Rabbi Eitan Cooper
Posted on April 27, 2023

We’ve all heard the phrase—Israel is the “Land Flowing with Milk and Honey.”  But what exactly does this mean? And can this phrase teach us anything in particular, as we reflect on Israel turning 75 this past week? The end of this week’s Torah Portion (Achrei Mot-Kedoshim) contains one of the several instances of this famous description of Israel (though it is the only time in the book of Leviticus that it appears).…

Hope in Heldenplatz

by Rabbi Eitan Cooper
Posted on April 20, 2023

About ten years ago, on a trip to Vienna, Austria, shortly after getting married, I had the opportunity to visit Heldenplatz (“Heroes Square”). Anyone who visits Vienna probably encounters this massive space at the center of the city—it’s hard to miss. …