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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


Raising our Monuments

by Rabbi Michael Gordan
Posted on November 30, 2023

To read this post in Spanish, click here To read this post in French, click here Jacob’s dilemma is summarized at the end of last week’s parasha, when he finally separates from Laban.  We are told that ”וישב לבן למקמו“ – “Laban returned to his place,” whereas Jacob only “הלך  לדרכו” – ”went on his way.” …

Vayishlach -The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Supporting Non-Jews in Need

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 30, 2023

וַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב שָׁלֵם עִיר שְׁכֶם אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן… וַיִּחַן אֶת פְּנֵי הָעִיר: “Jacob arrived safe in the city of Shechem which is in the land of Canaan…and he encamped before the city.” (Breishit 33:18). What is the meaning of va’yichen (‘he encamped,’ but also ‘he performed gracious acts’)?…

Who’s Fighting in YOUR corner?

by Rabbi Joel Dinin
Posted on December 8, 2022

In this week’s parsha, Vayishlach, Yaakov is scared, afraid. He is vulnerable. He is running from his brother Esav, even though he is the one who brought this situation on himself. Yaakov has sent his family away, not sure that he is ever going to see them again.…

The Secret Of Thanksgiving? Humility

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 18, 2021

With the all the ongoing intractability of COVID, the state of the economy, the deepening impact of the climate conference, and the rise in anti-Semitism, the period we are living in is a time of great anxiety for so many people.…

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.…

The Dinah Narrative (Bereishit 34): Moral Ambiguities in a Dreadful Story

by Rabbi Hayyim Angel
Posted on October 21, 2016

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

by Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Posted on October 21, 2016

What Does the Torah Have to Say About Thanksgiving?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 25, 2015

With all the tragic events occurring around the world, it is a time of great anxiety. And yet, with Thanksgiving, we must take a moment to reflect on the meaning of thankfulness. What should we be thankful for? How can we cultivate thankfulness in ourselves?…

Going Back for the Small Vessels

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 3, 2014

“And Yaakov was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Breishit, 32:24). Who was this man? The most common explanation is that it was an angel, the “Heavenly prince of Esav,” and that this wrestling represented Yaakov’s struggle against his external adversaries and anticipated the momentous encounter he would soon have with the earthly Esav.…

“No Longer Shall Your Name be Yaakov, but Yisrael” – Personal Transformation while Living with our Past

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 18, 2010

Yaakov Aveinu is a challenging character – one who is traditionally associated with the quality of emet – titen emet li’Yaakov – but who often seems to more be a person of trickery or deceit.  From purchasing the birthright, to stealing the blessing, to using the staves with Lavan’s sheep, he, like his name, works around the truth to get to the desired end result. …

“And He Was Limping on his Thigh” – Paying the Cost of Integrity

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 4, 2009

Parshat VaYishlach opens with Yaakov preparing to confront Esav on his return to the Land of Canaan. We, as the reader, are eager to find out not only whether Yaakov will emerge unscathed, but how Yaakov will achieve this goal. Will this encounter differ in character from his last one with Esav, twenty years ago?…