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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Lekh Lekha

Lech Lecha -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Can a Ger Perform Hatafat Dam Berit On Himself?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 25, 2023

  זֹ֣את בְּרִיתִ֞י אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּשְׁמְר֗וּ … הִמּ֥וֹל לָכֶ֖ם כּל־זָכָֽר׃ “This is my covenant that you shall observe, circumcise for you all males.” (Breishit 17:10)  QUESTION—Chicago, IL Hopefully this is only a theoretical question. Can a convert, who was already circumcised as an infant, perform the requisite hatafat dam brit (the taking a drop of blood through a pin prick from the circumcision site) on himself?…

Stepping Out in Faith in Hashem

Lech Lecha 5784 in English

Does Judaism require a leap of faith? It depends on who you ask! For the Rambam, the answer is no. In his Guide for the Perplexed (1:50), faith is presented as a form of knowledge: “Bear in mind that by ‘faith’ we do not understand merely that which is uttered with the lips.…

Emerging from the Flames

by Dvir Cahana
Posted on November 3, 2022

My grandmother, Alice Lok Cahana, Hinda Aliza bat Yehuda, was thrown into the gas chamber. Though she was crunched between 200 terrified people, at that moment she was completely and utterly alone. Staring death in the face, she contemplated her 15 years on earth.…

section of ancient amidah text in faded ink in hebrew on parchent or scroll

Our God, or God of Our Forefathers?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 14, 2021

The Amidah prayer opens with a blessing about the forefathers. It begins like this: “Blessed are you God, Our God, God of our forefathers,” and it then continues to name those forefathers explicitly: “God of Avraham, God of Yitzchak, God of Yaakov.”…

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.…

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)?…

Avraham the Weaver

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 10, 2016

  I have recently begun learning Midrash Tanchuma weekly with Rabbi Avi Weiss, and this week, I share some reflections on the two opening passages of Midrash Tanhuma to parashat Lekh Lekha.   In the middle of the first passage, the Midrash portrays a classic rabbinic image of Avraham as a devout Jew who kept every detail of the halakha: We find with Avraham, that he was punctilious in observing the mitzvot and therefore he was called the beloved of God, as it is written, “The seed of Avraham my beloved.”……

How Far Can The Apple Land From The Tree?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 7, 2016

The principle of מעשה אבות סימן לבנים most famously propounded by the Ramban has relevance to us as parents and potential parents. Rather than seeing Avraham’s travels as a supernatural oracle for his children, I see the resemblance between Avraham’s life and the history of Israel as an example of the inevitability of parental modeling.…

Our God and the God of Our Forefathers

by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot
Posted on May 25, 2016

At the opening of our parsha, Abraham, our founding father, leaves his homeland and birthplace on the journey towards finding the promised land. In truth, however, this is not the first journey that the Torah has presented to us in relation to Abraham and his father.…

The Importance of the Planters of the Seeds of Greatness

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 21, 2016

November 4-5, 2011/ 8 Cheshvan 5772 Terah, Avraham’s (Abraham) father, is often viewed as an evil man and nothing more than an idol worshipper. A review of the text indicates otherwise. First of all, Terah’s son, Haran, dies during Terah’s lifetime.…

Wanted: Partners, Not Followers

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 21, 2015

Avraham and Noach stand in stark contrast to one another. Noach was a follower. He did what he was told, exactly what he was told, no more and no less. He was told to build an ark, “and Noach did all that God had commanded him” (Bereishit, 6:22).…

Why Avraham?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on October 30, 2014

Why was Avraham chosen? The Torah doesn’t say. Without preamble, God commands Avraham and sends him on his mission. “And the Lord said to Avraham, lekh lekha, get yourself out… and go to the land that I will show you” (Breishit, 12:1).…