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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


When Does the Oral Torah Begin?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on July 19, 2023

Originally Published July 2015 What happens when we repeat a story or lesson in our own words? Does it improve with the retelling, or does it worsen? Is the message lost, or is it made more relevant? What is the point of retelling?…

The Reciprocity Principle

by Adam Cohen
Posted on August 4, 2022

Imagine you see a busker playing the violin in a train station. You give them money as you walk past and carry on with your day. But it is a shame in a way. Just 30 more seconds of your time and you could have taken this mitzvah to the next level.…

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? …

Ancient History: What is the Point of Learning Other People’s Stories?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on August 3, 2017

  Judaism today sees itself as a civilization that honors history above most things. And the history that we venerate is almost always our own. The Torah, however, in various places emphasizes the importance of knowing other people’s histories. This actually appears odd to us (as well as to early sages) precisely because knowing the history of ancient peoples, particularly those that have disappeared in the wake of our arrival on the scene, seems irrelevant to identity formation which, for us, is history’s primary purpose.…

Four Roads Lead To Israel: A Close Reading of Devarim 1-3

by Rabbi Eric Levy
Posted on November 1, 2016

He Said, He Said

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on August 15, 2016

There are many differences between the stories that are retold in the book of Devarim and their earlier appearances in the Torah. How are we to explain this? If we read in Bamidbar that sending the spies was God’s idea and in Devarim that it was the people’s, it would seem that one version has to be wrong.…