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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Breishit

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.…

Fate and Freedom: Contrasting Perspectives on the Slavery in Egypt

by Rabbi Dr. David Shatz
Posted on April 17, 2019

Angels and Demons: The Akedah, the Exodus, and a Pre-Rabbinic Midrash

by Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern
Posted on April 17, 2019

When and Why God Speaks to Himself in Sefer Breishit, and Why He Stops

by Rabbi Menachem Leibtag
Posted on April 17, 2019

Between the Cry of Pilegesh BeGivah and the Whispers of Ruth in the Field (Hebrew)

by Dr. Orit Avnery
Posted on April 17, 2019

Shomrim in Everyday Life: Reading Law Through Narrative

by Dr. Yael Landman Wermuth
Posted on April 17, 2019

Two Mothers, Two Dynasties, and One Nation: Leah and Rahel (Hebrew)

by Dr. Orit Avnery
Posted on April 3, 2019

A Sojourner or a Resident?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 1, 2018

Ger vi’toshav anokhi imakhem, “A sojourner and a resident am I in your midst” (Gen. 23:4).  Avraham’s description of his status in the land of Canaan – as both someone living among the inhabitants of the land, and yet not fully one of them – powerfully captures the experience of immigrants in general, and that of Jews in America starting from the first wave of major immigration in 19th century, in particular. …

Should a Father Personally Circumcise His Son? – The Mitzvot of Bris and Milah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 17, 2018

QUESTION: I am the father of a newborn beautiful baby boy.  The bris is coming up in a few days.  Since I have a mitzvah to give my son a bris, and the mohel is just an agent, is it better that I do the bris myself (after the mohel sets everything up, of course)?…

For Real This Time, What’s the Story With Christmas Gifts?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 28, 2017

So what is the story with Christmas gifts and office Christmas parties? Last week we saw that the Talmud draws a number of red lines to ensure that our active involvement in the surrounding society does not lead us into religiously problematic areas.…

The Holiday Season – What’s A Frum Jew to Do?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 21, 2017

This time of year, during the “holiday season,” many Jews struggle with how to best negotiate our interaction with the society and culture around us. Can we give Christmas or year-end gifts to our paper carrier? Can we go to our company’s holiday party if it is going to be Christmas-themed?…