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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

Leap of Action

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 29, 2015

At the moment of the exodus from Egypt, the Torah presents us with a picture of a strong, empowered and confident people ready to take on all comers: “And the Children of Israel went out with an uplifted hand.” (14:8). And yet throughout our parasha the people demonstrate a very different character time and again: fearful, needy and dependent.…

Becoming a People of Faith

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 15, 2015

Moshe tells the children of Israel that he is coming as God’s messenger to take them out of the bondage of Egypt and to bring them to the land of Canaan. To Pharaoh, however, a different message is given: Send out the people for three days so that they can celebrate to God in the wilderness.…

Moshe and His Brothers

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 8, 2015

The beginning of the book of Shemot serves as a mirror image to the end of the book of Breishit. Breishit ends with Yosef’s promise to his brothers: “Behold, I will die; and God will surely remember – pakod yifkod – you, and bring you out of this land” (Breishit, 50:24).…

You Call This a Blessing?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 31, 2014

As Yaakov’s life draws to a close, he calls his children to his bedside and blesses them. In twenty-six verses of beautiful poetry he addresses each son in turn, tailoring his words to what is most appropriate for that particular son. …

Yehudah, Yosef, and Religious Zionism

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 16, 2014

“What is Chanukah?” asks the gemara (Tractate Shabbat, 21b). The answer it gives is well known: the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. But this answer, says Maharal (Hidushei Aggadot, ad loc.), makes no sense! First of all, since when do we have holidays to celebrate miracles?…

A Tikkun for Yaakov

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 10, 2014

Three of Yaakov’s sons play a major role in the stories of Yosef and his brothers: Yosef, Reuven, and Yehudah.  Each one of these presents a type of a tikkunfor Yaakov.  It starts with Yosef. “These are the generations of Yaakov: Yosef.” This is the Midrash’s reading of Breishit, 37:2, a verse that in its simple sense narrates the events that occurred to Yaakov’s children.…

Going Back for the Small Vessels

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 3, 2014

“And Yaakov was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Breishit, 32:24). Who was this man? The most common explanation is that it was an angel, the “Heavenly prince of Esav,” and that this wrestling represented Yaakov’s struggle against his external adversaries and anticipated the momentous encounter he would soon have with the earthly Esav.…

Seeing (as) God

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 4, 2014

As our parasha opens, God appears, va’yeira, to Avraham while he is sitting by the opening of his tent. Immediately thereafter, Avraham sees, va’yar, three men standing near him. He sees them again, and he runs to greet them. This pairing of God appearing and Avraham seeing brings us back to the beginning of Parashat Lekh Lekha.…

Why Avraham?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 30, 2014

Why was Avraham chosen? The Torah doesn’t say. Without preamble, God commands Avraham and sends him on his mission. “And the Lord said to Avraham, lekh lekha, get yourself out… and go to the land that I will show you” (Breishit, 12:1).…

A Torat Emet and a Torat Chaim

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 5, 2014

Ki Teitze is a parasha densely packed with mitzvot. Of course, just because there are all these laws does not mean that it is always clear what their parameters are or how they are to be implemented. Should determining this be done only through technical and formal rules, or do values and underlying principles play a role?…

Can We Tolerate Dissent? Can We Not?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 29, 2014

One of the primary institutions needed for the well running of society is its legal system, both the laws proper, and the bodies to adjudicate and enforce those laws. For those about to enter the Land of Israel, the substance of the laws is no less than all the mitzvot of the Torah.…

You and Your Shulkhan Arukh Are Going to Treif Up My Kitchen!

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 17, 2014

A story is told that when Rav Soloveitchik’s wife Tonya, z”l, was hospitalized due to an illness, he and Haym had the run of the house. Following the technical laws of kashrut, they proceeded to eat cold milkhig food on fleishig dishes.…