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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


What Makes a House So Special?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 21, 2023

To read this post in Spanish, click here To read this post in French, click here Yaakov is the first person in the Torah who articulates the idea of a house of God. “This is nothing other,” he says upon waking up, “than the house of God and this is the gate to heaven” (Gen.…

Toldot -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – How to Compute Ma’aser Kesafim

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 16, 2023

וַיִּזְרַ֤ע יִצְחָק֙ בָּאָ֣רֶץ הַהִ֔וא וַיִּמְצָ֛א בַּשָּׁנָ֥ה הַהִ֖וא מֵאָ֣ה שְׁעָרִ֑ים וַֽיְבָרְכֵ֖הוּ ה‘. “Then Yitzchak sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.” (Gen. 26:12). Rashi – “Our Rabbis say that this measurement was for the sake of giving ma’aser.”…

Toldot 5784

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on November 16, 2023

As political and social discourse have become increasingly polarized across the world over the last several years, I have become polarized myself. Certain buzzwords will trigger an anger response in me, to the point where I find it impossible to trust in the goodwill or joint interests of people who, unapologetically, hold a position that is different from mine.…

Chayei Sarah -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Does a Chuppah Needs Poles?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 9, 2023

וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her.” (Gen. 24:67) QUESTION—Chicago, IL Can a chuppah hang from the ceiling?…

“Chelkeinu Be’toratecha, OUR Share in Your Torah:” Our Task Is To Plug the Holes and Fill the Gaps

by Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
Posted on November 9, 2023

My eclectic educational background left me with dichotomous messages regarding Tefila. Raised Chassidish, I was constantly told that Tefila is the best means to grow closest to God. In contrast, in the non-chassidic yeshivot where I studied for many years during my teens and twenties, they stressed that Torah is the most efficacious means to achieve this goal.…

Vayeira -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Mezuzah on A Door Which Doesn’t Open or Is Blocked Off

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 1, 2023

וַיֵּצֵא אֲלֵהֶם לוֹט הַפֶּתְחָה וְהַדֶּלֶת סָגַר אַחֲרָיו: “And Lot went out at the door to them, and he shut the door behind him.” (Gen. 19:6, 9). QUESTION—Massachusetts, US In a new apartment, a door between two rooms doesn’t open and will remain shut.…

The “Yes, Dear” That Really Matters

Vayeira 5784 in English

Originally posted October 22, 2021 The most important words in a marriage for a husband, the joke goes, are not “I love you,” but “Yes, dear.” Whether for husband or wife, there are two types of “Yes, dear.” There’s a surface “Yes, dear,” and there’s a deeper “Yes, dear.”…

Lech Lecha -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Can a Ger Perform Hatafat Dam Berit On Himself?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 25, 2023

  זֹ֣את בְּרִיתִ֞י אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּשְׁמְר֗וּ … הִמּ֥וֹל לָכֶ֖ם כּל־זָכָֽר׃ “This is my covenant that you shall observe, circumcise for you all males.” (Breishit 17:10)  QUESTION—Chicago, IL Hopefully this is only a theoretical question. Can a convert, who was already circumcised as an infant, perform the requisite hatafat dam brit (the taking a drop of blood through a pin prick from the circumcision site) on himself?…

Stepping Out in Faith in Hashem

Lech Lecha 5784 in English

Does Judaism require a leap of faith? It depends on who you ask! For the Rambam, the answer is no. In his Guide for the Perplexed (1:50), faith is presented as a form of knowledge: “Bear in mind that by ‘faith’ we do not understand merely that which is uttered with the lips.…

Noach – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Reciting a Blessing on Seeing a Solar Eclipse

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 18, 2023

עֹ֖ד כּל־יְמֵ֣י הָאָ֑רֶץ … וְי֥וֹם וָלַ֖יְלָה לֹ֥א יִשְׁבֹּֽתוּ׃ “While the earth remains…day and night will not cease.” (Gen. 8:22) QUESTION On October 14, an annular solar eclipse crossed the sky from Oregon to Texas. On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible from Texas to Maine.…

Why God Would Rather Just Have the Salad

Noach 5784 in English

Originally published October 2021 The classic metaphor for America used to be that of the melting pot. People came from all different countries, cultures, backgrounds, and languages. They would come to America, and they would get homogenized and Americanized into one indistinguishable whole.…

Breishit -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Use of Electric Scooters on Shabbat

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 12, 2023

לֹא־ט֛וֹב הֱי֥וֹת הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְבַדּ֑וֹ “It is Not Good for a Person to be Alone” (Gen. 2:18) QUESTION-Maryland Rabbi Linzer, I have a congregant who can no longer walk to shul.  I have discussed the option of using the grama scooters approved by Zomet and the Star K, but they cost more than $4000.…