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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

God, Money and Ma’aser

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 8, 2013

God promises Yaakov many things when God appears to him in the dream of the ladder and the angels: the Land of Israel, future children, Divine protection, and a safe return to his ancestral home. These blessings certainly seem to be extensive and all-encompassing.…

It’s Hard to Be a Yitzchak

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 1, 2013

Yitzchak had it rough. He was the son of a great man. His charismatic father, Avraham, spread God’s name throughout the land. He fought wars against mighty kings, he went from being a stranger and sojourner in Canaan to a “prince of God” known and revered by all.…

The Mixed Blessing of Retirement

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on October 25, 2013

After the climax of the akeida at the end of last week’s parsha, Avraham and Sarah quickly disappear from the scene in this week’s parsha. Sarah, of course, dies at the very beginning of the parsha, but even Avraham quickly fades into the background.…

Killing in the Name of God?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on October 18, 2013

Is it ever permissible to kill an innocent person in the name of God?  Both our religious and ethical intuitions scream “no”! Halakha and Torah values consistently underscore the sanctity of human life and the injustice of allowing harm to come to innocent people, and from an ethical standpoint such an act is the very definition of murder.…

Hearing the Call of Lekh Lekha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on October 11, 2013

The following is the parsha thought that Rabbi Linzer shared at the installation of Rabbi Asher Lopatin this last Sunday. Why Avraham? We know why God chooses Noach.  God even tells him why: “for you I have seen righteous before me in this generation.” But why does God choose Avraham? …

A Thought on the Parsha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 23, 2013

After the arranging of the camps around the Mishkan, in parashat Bamidbar and Nasso, our parasha, parashat Biha’alotkha, sees the camp moving forward and the beginning of the trek through the desert.   At the opening of this trek, two verses are set off from the rest of the text – va’yehi binsoa ha’aron, “And it was when the Ark would journey…”, u’vinukho yomar, “And when it rested, he said…” (Bamidbar 10:35-36).  These two verses, which we repeat every time we take and return the Torah to and from the aron in shul, are set off from the Torah by two inverted letter-nuns.  Hazal had a number of explanations for this, but the most intriguing is no doubt that of Rebbe who said that it is separate book of the Torah (Shabbat 116a).…

A Thought on the Parsha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 10, 2013

Feel free to download and print this week’s Parsha Sheet and share it with your friends and family: Click here:  Parshat Bamidbar   This week, when we move from sefer Vayikra to sefer Bamidbar, we are finally moving away from Har Sinai, where Bnei Yisrael have been encamped for almost a year.…

A Society that Embodies the Principles of Shabbat

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on May 2, 2013

This week, with the reading of Behar-Bichukotai, we end the book of Vayikra. The book of Vayikra is often thought of as devoted entirely to sacrifices or, a little more broadly, to the world of the kohanim – sacrifices and tumah vi’tahara, purity and impurity – and has thus also been called Torat Kohanim, the Torah of the Priests.…

A Thought on the Parsha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on March 14, 2013

There is a well-know debate regarding the desirability of sacrifices.  Rambam, like many moderns, was also bothered by the institution of sacrifices, and stated that God had only commanded them as a concession to human weakness. In his Guide to the Perplexed (III:32), he states that God commanded them as a way of weaning the people away from idolatry.…

A Thought On The Parsha 34

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 22, 2013

This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat Zakhor when, as a lead up to Purim, we read about the mitzvah to remember Amalek: Remember what Amalek did to you by the way, when you came forth out of Egypt…. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies… that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget it.…

Does the Torah Approve of Slavery?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 7, 2013

Does the Torah approve of slavery? Consider what Wikipedia says on the topic of Jews and Slavery: “Judaism’s religious texts contain numerous laws governing the ownership and treatment of slaves… Jews continued to own slaves during the 16th through 18th centuries, and ownership practices were still governed by Biblical and Talmudic laws.” And perhaps most troubling: “In the modern era, when the abolitionist movement sought to outlaw slavery, supporters of slavery used the laws to provide religious justification for the practice of slavery.” These statements are completely accurate.…

Knowing and Experiencing God

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 18, 2013

“And in order that you should relate in the ears of your children and your children’s children how I have made a mockery of the Egyptians and my signs that I have placed upon them, and you will know that I am the Lord.” (Ex.…