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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

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.”…

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.…

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.…

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. …