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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Chayei Sarah

Chayei Sarah -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Does a Chuppah Needs Poles?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 9, 2023

וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her.” (Gen. 24:67) QUESTION—Chicago, IL Can a chuppah hang from the ceiling?…

“Chelkeinu Be’toratecha, OUR Share in Your Torah:” Our Task Is To Plug the Holes and Fill the Gaps

by Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
Posted on November 9, 2023

My eclectic educational background left me with dichotomous messages regarding Tefila. Raised Chassidish, I was constantly told that Tefila is the best means to grow closest to God. In contrast, in the non-chassidic yeshivot where I studied for many years during my teens and twenties, they stressed that Torah is the most efficacious means to achieve this goal.…

Sarah: Living Her Best Life

by Raffi Levi
Posted on November 17, 2022

How can we make our religious experience sustainable? In other words, how do we maintain a sense of connection with HaShem even when we are not doing a mitzvah? Often, our experience of Judaism can feel reserved. Whether it is reserved for the Shabbat table, for holidays, for the synagogue, or for prayer.…

abraham's servant approaching rebecca at the well in a renaissance-era painting

Was Rivka a Feminist?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 28, 2021

That question is, of course, anachronistic. A close reading of this week’s parsha and later parashot, however, reveals that Rivka’s marriage to Yitzchak—as well as Rachel and Leah’s marriages to Yaakov, and most likely Sarah’s marriage to Avraham—brought into the Jewish family a woman’s voice and role that might otherwise have been absent.…

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?…

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. …

Speaking is Believing

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 22, 2016

After the climactic event of the akeida, the Torah turns its attention to more quotidian matters: the death and burial of Sarah and the finding of a wife for Yitzchak.  In this shift, a number of the major characters move off the scene. …

“And I Will Draw Water for Your Camels, Too!”

by Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Posted on September 23, 2016

What an incredible scene: we meet Rebecca, the heir to the Hebraic dynasty, taking charge of her life and the life of all those around her, and the lives of all those who will be her descendants.  Rebecca is incredibly powerful and decisive, not leaving things to chance or happenstance. …

What Does It Take to Make a Match?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 7, 2016

There is a need in our community for a review of the criteria we use in selecting mates (values and personal traits rather than aesthetic and material concerns). In addition there is a need to reemphasize that making the choice is not enough- there is tremendous work that still needs to go into a marriage and that very work is the source of the love between the partners.…

The Shalshelet: The Musical Note With A Deep Message

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Words have the power to express ideas. But as expressive as words can be, they can sometimes be limiting. Often music can give soul and meaning to ideas that words cannot. This concept is also true with respect to the melody (trop) used to read the Torah.…

Was Rivka a (Gasp!) Feminist?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 4, 2015

When Avraham charges his servant to find a wife for Yitzchak, the servant asks a strange question: “Perhaps the woman will not desire to follow me to this land. Should I return your son to the land which you came from?”…

The Mixed Blessing of Retirement

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 25, 2013

After the climax of the akeida at the end of last week’s parsha, Avraham and Sarah quickly disappear from the scene in this week’s parsha. Sarah, of course, dies at the very beginning of the parsha, but even Avraham quickly fades into the background.…