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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

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).…

Reuven, Yehudah and Responsible Leadership

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 29, 2013

In the story of Yosef and his brothers, starting in last week’s parasha, VaYeshev, and continuing through this week’s parasha, Miketz, and beyond, we are presented with two very distinct leadership personalities: Reuven and Yehudah. Yehudah is the lion, the courageous one, the leader and the progenitor of the Davidic kingly line; and Reuven is the one passed over, the firstborn, the one who should have been the leader, but who failed.…

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.…