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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Torah

Was the Mishkan Wheelchair Accessible?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 21, 2020

In Parashat Bamidbar, the Torah tells us 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 Mount Sinai and begin to move as a community and settle as a camp.…

Blinded by the Light

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2020

  What message can we learn from our parsha to give us some guidance during this crisis? Parshat Vayekhel-Pikudei opens with the second story of the Mishkan. After having been commanded by God in the building of the Mishkan in Terumah-TiZaveh, Moshe now, in turn, commands the people to build the Mishkan.…

Zakhor and Megillah For Those Under Quarantine

Question: Can people under quarantine fulfil the mitzvah of megillah by listening on the telephone or by participating via Zoom or the like?  What can these people do regarding listening to parashat Zakhor?   Summary: For megillah – One may rely on those Aharonim who rule that a person fulfils his or her obligation.…

The Mitzvah to Plan for the Future

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 8, 2020

  What does the Torah have to say about a person making concrete plans for the eventuality of her death? Is it appropriate to sign a health care proxy or to make out a will? There is no better example than our patriarch, Jacob.…

Where Does Ma’aser Kesafim Come From, and What Can it Be Used For?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 26, 2019

Can I use my ma’aser kesafim, tithes from my income, to contribute to my synagogue’s building campaign, and can I use it to pay my shul’s membership dues? The idea of tithing is alluded to in this week’s parasha.  We are told that Yitzchak, “Sowed in that land and received in that year a hundredfold, and God blessed him” (Gen.…

One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice For All

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 19, 2019

The issue of who can be seen as a full member of the community arises at the beginning of this week’s parasha and is revisited at the outset of the next. In the opening of Ki Tavo, we read of two mitzvot that apply when a person harvests the produce of the land: the mitzvah of bikkurim, or first fruits, and the mitzvah of viduy ma’aser, the declaration made when a person distributes what remains of his tithes at the end of three years. …

Time to Check the Mezuzot?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 23, 2019

The mitzvah of mezuzah appears at the end of this week’s parasha in what we know of as the second paragraph of Shema: “And you shall write them (these words) on the doorposts of your house and of your gates.” (Deut.…

Leading from the Middle

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 31, 2019

The Israelites have been wandering through the Wilderness for forty years and they are now on the cusp of entering into the Land of Canaan. Things will be different now. There will no longer be the cloud of God to lead them during the day and the pillar of fire to lead them at night.…

The Afternoon Antidote to Our Distracted Lives

by Rabbi Aaron Frank
Posted on July 25, 2019

From the decreasing productivity of the workplace, to bad decisions by drivers leading to tragic accidents, distraction is an issue that challenges each of us and our society each and every day. One need look no further than Google (another place where we get distracted…) to see that there is an entire body of literature all focused on trying to find solutions to this massive concern.…