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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Devarim

Where Does True Religiosity Start?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 30, 2021

What behavior do we identify as religious: performing the ritual mitzvot, or the interpersonal ones? The answer, experientially and attitudinally, has been the former. Ritual mitzvot are distinctive. They set us apart from the rest of the world; they identify us as Jewish.…

Shabbat and Fair Trade Chocolate

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 22, 2021

The giving of the Ten Commandments was an earth-shattering, never-before-experienced event. God revealed Godself directly to the entire Israelite people. It was the most profound Divine-human encounter to have ever occurred, never again to be repeated in world history. But while the event itself was never repeated, the telling of that event most definitely was.…

The Connecting Gate

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 16, 2021

The Book of Devarim–also known as Deuteronomy–presents us with a paradox. This book is completely Moses’s words: It is his valedictory speech to the Israelites and at the same time the divine word of God. How can both of these things be true? …

The Passion of Bride and Groom

In the Time of Coronavirus

One of the many customs of Simchat Torah is that of chatan Torah, the title given to the person who is called up to the Torah to receive the very last Aliyah of the Torah. The term chatan is an evocative one.…

Parashat Ha-Teshuva: Deuteronomy Chapter 30 and Its Location in the Book

by Rabbi David Bigman
Posted on September 15, 2020

Moving from the Real to the Ideal

In the Time of Coronavirus

The Torah commands us in the laws of Shmita for the first time in Shemot 23:11: “And six years you shall sow thy land, and shall gather in the fruits thereof. But the seventh year you shall relinquish it; that the poor of your people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat.…

Mezuzot: Divine Protection or Human Perfection?

In the Time of Coronavirus

The mitzvah of mezuzah appears at the end of this week’s parasha in what we know of as the second paragraph of Shema: “And you shall write them (these words) on the doorposts of your house and of your gates.” (Deut.…

One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice For All

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 19, 2019

The issue of who can be seen as a full member of the community arises at the beginning of this week’s parasha and is revisited at the outset of the next. In the opening of Ki Tavo, we read of two mitzvot that apply when a person harvests the produce of the land: the mitzvah of bikkurim, or first fruits, and the mitzvah of viduy ma’aser, the declaration made when a person distributes what remains of his tithes at the end of three years. …

Time to Check the Mezuzot?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 23, 2019

The mitzvah of mezuzah appears at the end of this week’s parasha in what we know of as the second paragraph of Shema: “And you shall write them (these words) on the doorposts of your house and of your gates.” (Deut.…

Birkat HaMazon and the Oral Torah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 2, 2018

Sefat Emet teaches that those who were to enter the Land of Israel would be the beginning of the Oral Torah – the taking of the Divine word and interpreting it and applying it to the lived reality of their lives. …

To Believe or to Have Faith

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 26, 2018

The Ten Commandments open with the declaration “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of land of Egypt.” This is often understood to be a mitzvah of belief. Is there such a mitzvah? And what do we mean by belief anyway?…

Time to Build the Sukkah!

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on September 18, 2017

There is a practice to build the sukkah immediately following Yom Kippur, to begin involving ourselves with mitzvot as soon as possible so as to turn our teshuvah process into action. But building a sukkah is not just one mitzvah of many mitzvot; it can be seen as a model of how we can live our lives better in the year to come.…