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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

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.…

A Thought on the Parsha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on January 3, 2013

“And you, go, and I will send you to Pharaoh, and you will take out my nation, the Children of Israel, from Egypt.” (Shemot 3:10). Moshe encounters God at the burning bush and he is commanded by God to be the person, the leader, who will take the people out of Egypt.…

A Thought on the Parsha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 28, 2012

I’d like to share with all of you a slightly edited version of a beautiful piece written by my wife, Devorah Zlochower, and delivered by her as the Shabbat Sermon when she served as Scholar-in-Residence at the Young Israel of Hillcrest in 2009.…

The Buck Stops Here

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 21, 2012

The Yosef narrative of the last few parshiyot – the longest narrative of Breishit – has been focusing, not surprisingly, on the character of Yosef.  But also central to this story is the person of Yehudah, and his growing into the role of a leader.…

A Change of Clothes

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 14, 2012

Clothes, as we have seen, play a major role in the stories of Yaakov and his children.  This theme continues and comes to a head in this week’s parasha. Yosef is rushed from the dungeon, and in preparation for his meeting with Pharaoh, he shaves and changes his clothes.…

A Tikkun for Rivka

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 7, 2012

Immediately after Yosef is sold to the Midianites, the Torah interrupts the main Yosef narrative to tell us the story of Yehuda and Tamar.  This story is often understood to be Yehuda’s story, and could be entitled “The Moral Education of Yehuda.”  Yehuda was a person with true leadership potential. …

To Do Righteousness and Justice

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 2, 2012

This Tuesday, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many YCT semikha students went down to the Lower East Side to help those suffering from the effects of the hurricane. Students spent several hours handing out water, batteries and flashlights to elderly people stuck in their apartments with no power.…

What is Your Calling?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on October 26, 2012

Why did God choose Avraham? In parashat Noach, we read: “And Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations; with God did Noach walk (6:9).  It is only after introducing Noach’s greatness that the Torah tell us that God spoke to Noach and chose him to be saved from the flood.…

Self-Restraint and Self-Contraction

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on October 19, 2012

What was the sin of the Generation of the Flood? The verses repeat that they had “corrupted their way”, which the Rabbis tell us refers to idolatry and sexual sin. And yet this is not what had sealed their fate, for the verse states: “The end of all flesh has come before Me, because the land is filled with hamas – understood by the Rabbis as “robbery” – through them.”(6:13).…