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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

A Thought on the Parasha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 2, 2014

“Whoever has… an ayin tova, a good eye… is a student of Avraham; whoever has an ayin ra’ah, a bad eye… is a student of Balaam,” the Rabbis tell us in Pirkei Avot (5:22).  Avraham sees well, whereas Balaam sees poorly.…

A Thought on the Parasha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 12, 2014

The parasha of tzitzit which closes parashat Shelach seems decidedly out of place. However, there are two key words which tie it back to the beginning of the parasha: lirot, to see, and la’tur, to spy out, or to seek. The purpose of tzitzit we are told is u’ri’item oto, and you shall see them, and you will remember all the mitzvot of God and do them, v’lo ta’turu acharei li’vavkhem vi’acharei eineikhem, that you should not seek, taturu, after your hearts and your eyes.…

A Thought on the Parasha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 23, 2014

Feel free to download and print the Parasha sheet and share it with your friends and family: Click here: Parashat Bamidbar In parashat Bamidbar, the Torah tells us just how to construct a community that has God and Torah at its center. God’s command, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst” (Shemot 25:8) – is now given true shape as the Children of Israel depart from the Mount Sinai and begin to move and settle as a camp, as a community.…

Has our Relationship Lost its Sizzle?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 16, 2014

  There is a bizarre verse in this week’s parasha. In listing the blessings that will be bestowed on the people if they follow God’s commandments and observe God’s laws—the rains will come in their appointed season, the land will bring forth its fruit, there will be peace in the land, and the people will be fruitful and multiply—the Torah reaches a climax with, “I will place my Tabernacle (mishkani) in your midst, and My soul will not abhor you” (Vayikra 26:11).…

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.…