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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


Chukat – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Reinterring a Corpse Buried in an Otherwise Reserved Plot

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 11, 2024

וַתָּ֤מָת שָׁם֙ מִרְיָ֔ם וַתִּקָּבֵ֖ר שָֽׁם: “and Miriam died there, and was buried there” (Bamidbar 20:1). This question is taken from a WhatsApp group in which Rabbi Linzer responds to halakhic questions from rabbis and community members. QUESTION—Minneapolis, MI A man was mistakenly buried in a plot reserved for a distant relative (his second wife’s cousin).…

Spare the Rod

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on July 11, 2024

Why are Moshe and Aharon barred from entering the Land of Israel? What was so wrong about hitting the rock? After all, God explicitly tells Moshe to take his staff with him when going to speak to the rock (Bamidbar 20:8).…

Leadership for Self-Reliance

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 29, 2023

Originally Published June 2015 Transitions are hard. As the wandering in the desert begins to draw to a close, Bnei Yisrael encounter many changes and anticipate many more. Their leaders begin to die: Miriam and Aharon this week and Moshe a few months later.…

How to Live a Long Life

by Rabbi Daniel Epstein
Posted on June 29, 2023

Do you want time to go fast or slow? Time flies when you are having fun. Dunbar in Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 decides he wants his life to be as boring as possible so that he will live a very long time.…

Bring Your B-Game

by Eliezer Weinbach
Posted on July 7, 2022

Your community is running a fundraiser but you’ve never made fundraising calls before. Your synagogue needs a minyan but you are often late. A sick person down the block needs a visitor but you don’t know what to say. What if you mess up?…

Can We Un-Stick Old Patterns?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on June 17, 2021

The transition into full adulthood, with its incumbent privileges and responsibilities, is often a long process. In recent years there has been increasing recognition of a stage of life between adolescence and adulthood; this stage has been called the “odyssey years.”…

negev desert

Growing Up is Hard to Do

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 11, 2019

Transitions are hard. As the period of wandering in the desert begins to draw to a close, Bnei Yisrael encounter many changes and they anticipate many more. Their leaders begin to die: Miriam and Aharon both die in this week’s parasha, and Moshe will pass away a few months hence.…

The Bitter Waters and The Delicious Food: The Mei Merivah and Manna Sequence

by Rabbi Chaim Marder
Posted on October 26, 2016

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 15, 2016

Much ink has been spilled by the commentators—classical and contemporary—to explain Moshe and Aharon’s sin of smiting the rock, but the matter remains quite opaque. Greater clarity can be gained by comparing the story of the smiting of the rock in our parasha with the hitting of the rock in Parashat Beshalach.…

And Moses Struck the Rock

by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot
Posted on July 5, 2016

The failure of Moses to lead the Jewish people into the promised land constitutes a central tragedy of the second half of the book of Numbers and the book of Deuteronomy. The ambiguous circumstances surrounding both his loss of the reins of leadership and his disqualification from entry into the land add to the reader’s sense of frustration and wonder.…

Keeping The Ego In Check

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

In parshat Chukat Moses is told that he would not enter Israel because he hit the rock instead of speaking to it. Immediately afterwards, Moses sends a delegation to Edom asking that the Jewish people be allowed to go through his territory on their way to Israel (Numbers 20:14).…

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The Limitations of the Human Mind

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 21, 2016

There are differing opinions concerning the meaning of “chok” (commonly translated as statute), the type of law discussed at the beginning of Chukat (Numbers 19). Some maintain that “hook” is a law that although not understood today, one day in the future will be understood.…