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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


All Who Are Hungry—In And Out Of The House

by Rabbi Eitan Cooper
Posted on March 30, 2023

You’re sitting down at your seder and everyone is enjoying each other’s company, when all of a sudden, you hear a knock at the door. Someone gets up to answer and finds a person who is clearly in need standing at the door.…

Let Go and Let God!

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 23, 2023

Parsha Vayikra opens up with Hashem calling out to Moshe: “Vayikra el Moshe” (Vayikra 1:1). In the word vayikra there is a small letter aleph. This is a unique occurrence because we only find small letters in eight other places in the Torah.…

Making Shabbat Holy

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 16, 2023

When I initially became more religiously observant, twenty five years ago, the laws of Shabbat felt overwhelming for me. There were so many things I was not allowed to do! I vividly recall sitting in yeshivah with a chavruta (study partner) learning from Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah that we cannot bite our nails on Shabbat.…

Every Bit Counts!

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 9, 2023

Parsha Ki Tisa opens up mandating a contribution of machatzit hashekel, a half-shekel, toward the construction of the Mishkan (Ex. 30:13). Our commentators ask why the Torah demands a half-shekel and no more. Doesn’t Hashem want our full commitment, our whole contribution? …

Adar: The Month of Inclusion

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 2, 2023

We are in the month of Adar and Purim is just around the corner. What spiritual work should we be focusing on during these special days?  The Shem Mishmuel (Pikudei 5) teaches us that the month of Adar is parallel to another month on the Jewish calendar, the month of Elul.…

Mistakes, Manuscripts and Mankind

by Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence
Posted on February 23, 2023

In this week’s parsha, Rashi makes a comment explaining the function of what seems to be a superfluous “vav” before the word “et” in 25:22. This comment would be in line with many of his other comments, except one significant detail: there is no such “vav” before the “et” in our chumashim.…

Treat the Problem, not the Symptom!

by Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence
Posted on February 16, 2023

There is a universal wisdom that children are supposed to respect their parents, so it is not surprising that we are introduced to the mitzvah of kibbud av va’eim—honoring one’s parents—in the “10 commandments” of last week’s parsha. This foundational mitzvah is complex, with sugiyot in the gemara, simanim in the Shulkhan Arukh and countless seforim devoted to ascertaining what that “respect” should look like.…

What’s in a Name?

by Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence
Posted on February 9, 2023

The Mechilta teaches that Yitro, Moshe’s father in law, had seven names: Yeter, Yitro, Chovav, Reuel, Chever, Putiel, and Keni, each corresponding to an aspect of Yitro’s entirety. Yeter, because he was always adding good deeds. Chovav and Reuel, because he was beloved and a friend of God.…

The Bones we Carry

by Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence
Posted on February 2, 2023

I walk through the world with the bones of my ancestors. I carry in my bones the stories—the life, the love, the death, the values of those who came before—so many of whom I never met. When we have a relationship with ancestry, we begin to encounter the expansiveness of History, of God, and to realize that we are but a character in a larger intergenerational story.…

The First Mitzvah Given in Egypt Wasn’t What You Think

by Rabbi Dan Margulies
Posted on January 26, 2023

There is a well known and much discussed idea that the first mitzvah that Bnei Yisrael were commanded upon the Exodus from Egypt was the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh. This is based on a pasuk in this week’s parsha: “הַחֹ֧דֶשׁ הַזֶּ֛ה לָכֶ֖ם רֹ֣אשׁ חֳדָשִׁ֑ים” (Ex.…

How Many Expressions of Divine Redemption?

by Rabbi Dan Margulies
Posted on January 19, 2023

The beginning of Va’era includes a passage familiar to many, which includes the four leshonot of geulah, four expressions of divine redemptive power. This is the source for the idea that we should have four cups of wine or grape juice at the Pesach seder, corresponding to each of the four steps of the progression of God’s taking us out of slavery in Egypt (Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:1).…

One Shoe, Two Shoe

by Rabbi Dan Margulies
Posted on January 13, 2023

In this week’s parsha Shemot, we are introduced to Moshe Rabbeinu, the greatest leader, the greatest prophet ever to serve the Jewish people. The selection of Moshe Rabbeinu and the beginning of his journey as the leader of the Israelite nation becomes a chance to explore questions related to what makes Moshe such a qualified leader and what lessons about leadership we can learn from his behavior.…