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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Breishit

Dinah, Shekhem and the Brothers: A Template for Current Political, Sociological and Moral Conversations

by Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Posted on October 21, 2016

Autonomy and Obedience in Sefer Bereishit

by Rabbi David Silber
Posted on October 21, 2016

The Evolution of Sin: Bereishit 1-11

by Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom
Posted on October 20, 2016

“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. …

The Demands and Limits of Honoring Your Parents

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 9, 2016

The following sources relate to the story of Joseph in Parashat Vayigash, and compare his actions to what we know about the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents. Ramban, Bereshit, ch. 42 יש לתמוה אחר שעמד יוסף במצרים ימים רבים והיה פקיד ונגיד בבית שר גדול במצרים, איך לא שלח כתב אחד לאביו להודיעו ולנחמו, כי מצרים קרוב לחברון כששה ימים, ואילו היה מהלך שנה היה ראוי להודיעו לכבוד אביו… It is astonishing: after Joseph lived in Egypt for many days, and was an officer and a ruler in the house of a great Prince of Egypt, how is that he didn’t send a message to his father to tell him and to console him.…

Deception and Connection: Why Do We Deceive Those We Love?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 7, 2016

Jewish values oppose lying, deception, and dishonesty as a rule. And yet there are some moments, when they are acceptable and maybe even preferable to the truth. It is obvious that we should not participate in dishonesty that causes damage to others, and even dishonesty that really has no negative consequences should be avoided.…

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.…

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.…

Each of Us Has A Godly Spark

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

While some maintain that the human being is only physical form, the Torah, in one of its most important sentences, insists that every person is also created in the image of God – tzelem Elokim (Genesis 1:26,27). On the surface we see each others’ outward appearance, but if we look deeply, we ought to be able to perceive a little bit of God in our fellow human being.…

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.…

Hagar’s Place in Destiny

by Dr. Michelle Friedman, MD
Posted on May 25, 2016

How might we understand the Hagar narrative? We find the first Hagar episode in Lech Lecha, where she conceives Ishmael. Parshat Vayera swings between emotional highs and lows and is rich with lessons concerning how God’s children should properly parent their own offspring so that the legacy of creation is transmitted forward.…

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.…