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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Breishit

Silence; sculpture of face holding finger up to mouth for in a library

The Sound of Silence

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 24, 2020

A major theme in this week’s parsha is silence. Without a doubt, there is much talking – endless talking in fact. Yehuda begs Yosef to free Binyamin; Yosef breaks down and reveals all to his brothers. Yosef commands his brothers return with a message to their father; the brothers tell Yaakov that Yosef is still alive; G-d speaks to Yaakov; Yosef tells Pharaoh his brothers have arrived and prepares his brothers for that meeting, and on and on. …

old hands; black and white hands; holding hands

Preparing for Our Final Moments

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 24, 2020

How can we leave behind a blessing once we are gone? “Va’yechi” – and he lived. Yaakov has come to the fullness of his life and knows that he will soon die. He calls Yosef to his bedside and broaches a subject that maybe Yosef would have preferred to avoid – his death, and the burial arrangements that must follow.…

COVID and Clothing

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 17, 2020

Our clothes are closely connected to our body and our identity. They have the power to disguise who we are, represent who we are, and even shape who we are. Clothing plays an important role in this week’s parsha and in the prior ones as well.…

The Angels in Our Lives

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 10, 2020

Who have been the angels in our lives? At a critical moment in the story of Joseph and his brothers, there is a turning point that goes by so fast, that if you blink you’ll miss it. Joseph travels to Shechem to visit his brothers, yet he searches for them in vain.…

Sukkah-in-the-dessert from Neot Kedumim Biblical Nature Park

Catching Our (Collective) Breath

In the Time of Coronavirus

Sometimes we need to just stop and catch our breath. Esav moves with his 400 men towards Yaakov and his family, and Yaakov fears for all of their lives. Through a combination of stratagem and diplomacy, Yaakov emerges from the encounter safe and unharmed and is now prepared to continue to Canaan.…

Isaac digging wells

Are You a Seeker or a Dweller?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 19, 2020

Are you a seeker or a dweller? Scholars of religion have noted that religious people can be categorized as either seekers or dwellers. Seekers are the ones who are looking for G-d, meaning, and truth. They wonder about how religion’s messages and teachings can play out in their lives, and they look to bring a religious ethos into the world.…

Insiders and Outsiders

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 12, 2020

A major theme in this week’s parasha, Chayei Sarah, is the question of insiders and outsiders. How do we relate to the larger country around us? How do we relate to foreigners? This is quite relevant to the question of immigrants in a society – are their contributions to be feared or embraced?…

Parshat Vayeira: Tzeddek and Mishpat

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 6, 2020

This week, particularly right now when we are in an uncertain moment as a country, I’d like to share a thought on the parsha which touches on what the Torah believes to be the basic principles with which we should live our lives. …

What Is Our Vision Statement?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 29, 2020

The Jewish story begins with parshat Lekh-Lekha, when G-d tells Avraham “Go to the land which I will show you.” The patriarch faithfully sets out towards the land of Cannan, which later becomes the Land of Israel. To understand the religious character of Avraham, it is helpful to compare him to Noah, the main character of the previous parasha.…

Akedat-Yitzchak, the Sacrifice of Issac

The Binding of Isaac: Extremely Religious Without Religious Extremism

by Rabbi Hayyim Angel
Posted on September 15, 2020

Akeidat Yitzchak: What Was God Thinking?!

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 14, 2020

To follow along with the shiur’s source sheet on Sefaria, please click here.…

expulsion of ishmael

גירוש ישמעאל או שילוח ישמעאל? The “Expulsion” of Yishmael or the “Sending” of Yishmael?”

by Dr. Yonatan Grossman
Posted on September 14, 2020

To follow along with the shiur’s source sheet on Sefaria, please click here.…