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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


Mikeitz -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Is Re-Gifting Kosher?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 14, 2023

וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבִיהֶם אִם כֵּן אֵפוֹא זֹאת עֲשׂוּ קְחוּ מִזִּמְרַת הָאָרֶץ בִּכְלֵיכֶם וְהוֹרִידוּ לָאִישׁ מִנְחָה… וְכֶסֶף מִשְׁנֶה קְחוּ בְיֶדְכֶם וְאֶת הַכֶּסֶף הַמּוּשָׁב בְּפִי אַמְתְּחֹתֵיכֶם תָּשִׁיבוּ בְיֶדְכֶם אוּלַי מִשְׁגֶּה הוּא: “Then their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be so, do this: take some of the choice products of the land in your baggage, and carry them down as a gift for the man… And take with you double the money, carrying back with you the money that was replaced in the mouths of your bags; perhaps it was a mistake.”…

Trivial Torah? “Abrek”-ing Development

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on December 12, 2023

To read this post in Spanish, click here To read this post in French, click here וַיַּרְכֵּב אֹתוֹ בְּמִרְכֶּבֶת הַמִּשְׁנֶה אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וַיִּקְרְאוּ לְפָנָיו אַבְרֵךְ וְנָתוֹן אֹתוֹ עַל כָּל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם (בר’ מ”א, מ”ג) He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they cried before him, “Abrek!”……

What’s in a Name?

by Rabbi Joel Dinin
Posted on December 22, 2022

I have many names; Joel, rabbi, daddy, sweetie, “Hey you get out of my way”—But which one of these is my real name? The simple answer is—all of them, but how can that be true? A name is NOT who we are, it’s what we do in our connections with other people.…

blue sky, looks like dusk or twilight, with the word dreams written in puffy white clouds

Dream the Impossible Dream

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 2, 2021

Dreams are a significant part of the lives of both Jacob and Joseph. Jacob dreams of a ladder that is anchored in the ground and goes up to heaven while the angels rise and descend on it. He also dreams in Laban’s house of an angel who tells him to return to the land of Canaan.…

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.…

There’s No Going Home Again? – Where Do Travelers, Guests, and College Students Light Hanukkah Candles?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 14, 2017

Many of us fondly remember precious moments with our families during Hanukkah – lighting candles, singing songs, eating latkes, and playing dreidel. The family-oriented strand of this holiday is actually deeply woven into its mitzvot and halakhic requirements. The obligation rests not on the individual, as is the case with almost all other mitzvot, but on the household as a unit, ner ish u’veito, a candle for the person and his household.…

Why Are We Called Yehudim?

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

It is commonly known that the reason that we call ourselves by the name Yehudim (Jews) is because most of us come literally from the Kingdom of Judah, or more specifically the tribe of Judah. Yet, there is a deeper reason why we have continued to use this term specifically when there are countless other names that our people and religion could go by.…

Piety and Power – A Combustible Mix

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 10, 2015

The gemara asks, “What is Chanukah?” (Tractate Shabbat, 21b). The answer given is well known: the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. But according to Maharal, this answer makes no sense (Hidushei Aggadot, ad loc.). First, since when do we have holidays to celebrate miracles?…

Yehudah, Yosef, and Religious Zionism

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 16, 2014

“What is Chanukah?” asks the gemara (Tractate Shabbat, 21b). The answer it gives is well known: the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. But this answer, says Maharal (Hidushei Aggadot, ad loc.), makes no sense! First of all, since when do we have holidays to celebrate miracles?…

Reuven, Yehudah and Responsible Leadership

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 29, 2013

In the story of Yosef and his brothers, starting in last week’s parasha, VaYeshev, and continuing through this week’s parasha, Miketz, and beyond, we are presented with two very distinct leadership personalities: Reuven and Yehudah. Yehudah is the lion, the courageous one, the leader and the progenitor of the Davidic kingly line; and Reuven is the one passed over, the firstborn, the one who should have been the leader, but who failed.…

A Change of Clothes

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 14, 2012

Clothes, as we have seen, play a major role in the stories of Yaakov and his children.  This theme continues and comes to a head in this week’s parasha. Yosef is rushed from the dungeon, and in preparation for his meeting with Pharaoh, he shaves and changes his clothes.…

Yosef the Tzaddik, Religious Arrogance and the Miracle of Chanukkah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 23, 2011

Yosef is known throughout Rabbinic literature as “Yosef the Tzaddik.”  This phrase alludes to the verse in Amos (2:6), “their selling the Tzaddik for silver”, which is understood to be referring to brother’s selling Yosef for the 30 pieces of silver. …