Today is September 26, 2021 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

Jewish Blood Is Not Cheap

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Although the Torah often points out the infinite value of every human life, this week’s parsha gives a clear message about the value of Jewish life. We are told that no one will be permitted to murder Jews with impunity. In the Shirat Hayam (Song at the Sea), Moshe (Moses) and the Jewish people use three expressions to describe the downfall of the Egyptians.…

A Message of Inclusiveness At The Foot of Mt. Sinai

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

  The Torah tells us that at the moment of revelation all the Jews at Sinai were able to see. (Exodus 20:15) Is it possible that of the several million there was not one single person who was blind? Here Rashi responds and states that in fact a miracle occurred.…

The Integral Connection Between Prayer and Action

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

The Talmud states that the source of prayer is the biblical phrase: “And you shall serve Him with all your heart.” (Deuteronomy 11:13) Service is usually associated with action. One can serve with his or her hands or feet but how does one serve with the heart?…

The Unique Character of the Holiness of Jerusalem

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Parshat Terumah talks about the first synagogue of all time – the mishkan. Because the chasm between the finite human being and the infinite God is great, the mishkan was established so that there would be a tangible place where people could feel more intensely, more powerfully, the presence of God.…

Sacrifices Celebrate Our Love of God

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Parshat Tzav continues the theme of the sacrificial service. There are many suggestions as to the reasoning behind this enigmatic, yet important element of our tradition. Ramban understands the Mishkan (tabernacle) as a kind of portable Mt. Sinai. Mt. Sinai was a physical mountain through which the Jewish people were able to feel God’s presence more powerfully.…

Explaining the Laws of Family Purity

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Why is there a time of physical separation between husband and wife every month – a law found in this week’s Torah portion? (Leviticus 15) To be sure, a mandate ought be observed no matter – but is there a rationale?…

The Lessons of Holiness Even In Death

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

From a literal perspective, the names of portions are nothing more than the first major word of the part of the Torah that is read during the week. It can, however, be argued that deep meaning actually lies within the names themselves.…

The Great Significance of the Smallest Book of the Torah

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

The words we recite when taking the Torah from the Ark are found in this week’s portion. “And it came to pass, when the Ark set forward, that Moshe (Moses) said ‘rise up O Lord and let Your enemies be scattered; and let them that hate You flee before You'” (Numbers 10:35).…

The Gift of Opportunity is Not Limitless

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

A glimpse at the narrative in the book of Numbers reveals an almost parallel pattern of events to that which occurred to the Jews after their leaving Egypt. In Numbers, the Jews began to murmur that they did not have meat to eat (Numbers 11:4).…

The Makings of a Successful Rabbi

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

From the time that Moshe (Moses) comes on the scene, he is under attack. As he breaks up a fight between Jews while still in Egypt, one turns to him and says, “who made you a ruler and judge over us?”…

Keeping The Ego In Check

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

In parshat Chukat Moses is told that he would not enter Israel because he hit the rock instead of speaking to it. Immediately afterwards, Moses sends a delegation to Edom asking that the Jewish people be allowed to go through his territory on their way to Israel (Numbers 20:14).…

The Power of Love To Conquer Hatred

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Could it be that Bilaam, the gentile prophet, saddled his own animal when he set forth to curse the Jews? (Numbers 22:21). For someone of his stature, a prophet, it certainly seems beneath his dignity. Ibn Ezra, who is known for his literal readings of the Torah goes against his usual trend and offers a non-literal interpretation.…