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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

Is Holiness Only Skin Deep?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 2, 2014

Through the book of Vayikra, the Torah has been concerned with kedusha, sanctity, and how to protect it. The Torah now turns its attention from the sanctity of the Temple to the sanctity of  those who are constantly in the Temple – the Kohanim.…

Kedoshim: Two Types of Kedusha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 25, 2014

Parashat Kedoshim represents the transition from the first half of Vayikra to the second. The first half of Vayikra focuses solely on the Temple, its holiness, and the sacrifices. This theme continues with the parshiyot devoted to the various ritual impurities that prevent a person’s access to the Temple and its sacrifices. …

Does God Need our Sacrifices?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 7, 2014

The building of the Mishkan which took up the second half of the Book of Shemot, focused on creating a Sanctuary as a place for God’s Presence to dwell, for God Godself to dwell among the Children of Israel.  In contrast, the book of Vayikra focuses on what is done in that Sanctuary – which is, first and foremost, the bringing of sacrifices. …

Pop Quiz: What’s Holier – Shabbat or the Beit haMikdash?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 21, 2014

Before entering into extensive detail about the making of the Mishkan, this week’s parasha opens with the mitzvah of Shabbat: And Moshe gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, these are the words which the Lord has commanded, that you should do them.…

More than a Mishkan, Less than a Golden Calf

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 14, 2014

How exactly can a finite human being, rooted in her physicality, connect to an infinite, non-physical God? This question is one that the Torah grapples with throughout the second half of the book of Shemot. The Mishkan delimits a place, a space, for the Divine presence to inhabit, and the Glory of God is a created thing which represents God’s presence, but not God Godself.…

Inclusion Doesn’t Happen by Accident

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 7, 2014

The lighting of the menorah opens our parasha: “Command the Children of Israel and they shall take to you pure olive oil, beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn tamid, constantly.” (Shemot 27:20) The placement of these verses is curious, as the more appropriate place would have been in last week’s parasha, together with the making of the menorah.…

Just the People of the Book, Really?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 31, 2014

Reprinted from my article in this week’s Jerusalem Report The Judaism that most of us are are familiar with teaches that one’s religious expression, outside of the observance of mitzvot, is to be found in the intellectual realm of Torah study.…

Observant and/or Religious?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 17, 2014

Feel free to download and print the Parasha sheet and share it with your friends and family: Click here: Parashat Yitro   Hearing and/or Doing Yitro hears and comes. He is motivated religiously – to draw close to Benei Yisrael because of their God and their relationship with their God.…

“And They Believed in God and in Moshe, God’s Servant”

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 10, 2014

A dominant theme in Parashat Beshalach is that of emunah, belief – having it and losing it. That the Children of Israel should believe in God after witnessing the miracles and plagues in Egypt is to be expected. What is more of a question is how long that belief will last – will they continue to believe even when they are not experiencing miracles, and even when they are beset with hardship? …

Don’t Leave the People Behind

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 3, 2014

Nine plagues were proclaimed. Nine plagues befell Pharaoh and the Egyptians. With each passing plague, Pharaoh was one step closer to freeing the Children of Israel. Until this point, he had offered to release them all save the cattle. Even this Moshe refuses, and Pharaoh orders him out telling him never to return.…

What’s in a Name?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 27, 2013

Va’era opens with a powerful, yet quizzical, declaration – “And God spoke to Moshe and said to him: I am God. And I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov with El-Shaddai, but by my name God (YHVH) I was not known to them” (Shemot 6:3).…

A Bridegroom of Blood

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 20, 2013

At the crucial juncture between Moshe accepting the divine mission and his returning to the people and becoming their leader, a curious and perplexing event occurs. Moshe begins to head back to Egypt, and then, abruptly we read: “And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him” (4:24).…