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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Shemot

Angels and Demons: The Akedah, the Exodus, and a Pre-Rabbinic Midrash

by Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern Posted on April 17, 2019

Should Moshe Have Looked Away? Literary and Theological Reflections on Tzeniut, Kavod, and Spiritual Risk

by Rabbi Aryeh Klapper Posted on April 17, 2019

Shomrim in Everyday Life: Reading Law Through Narrative

by Dr. Yael Landman Wermuth Posted on April 17, 2019

Why Are We Doing This and Why Does it Matter?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 31, 2019

The enterprise of ta’amei ha’mitzvot, trying to identify the values that underlie the mitzvot, is an important although potentially dangerous one.  The importance lies in the fact that it helps us actualize those values both in the performance of the mitzvot and in other areas of our lives. …

Partnering With God

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 24, 2019

How many commandments were given at Mt. Sinai?  The answer, surprisingly, is not 10.  The Torah speaks of the aseret ha’devarim, the Ten Utterances, not the Ten Commandments.  When one gets down to counting the commandments, she finds that the first of the utterances, “I am the Lord your God,” is not exactly a commandment, and that some, like “You shall have no other gods before me; you shall not bow down to them nor shall you worship them,” actually contain 3 commandments, if not more.…

May a Kohen Become a Doctor?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 8, 2018

This Shabbat we read Parashat Parah to remind us of the preparations that were necessary to undergo in order to be able to bring the korban pesah.  While it is hard for us nowadays to relate to the laws of corpse-impurity detailed in the maftir section, there is one case where these details really matter. …

Atonement and Peace

by Rabbi Jon Kelsen
Posted on February 23, 2018

In Parshiyot Terumah and Teztaveh, the Torah describes the instructions for the construction and inauguration of the Mishkan, alongside the installation of Aaron and his sons as kohanim. Aaron, brother of Moshe, is established as High Priest, chief functionary of the Mishkan.…

Donating to Shul Building Funds with Ma’aser Kesafim Money

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 15, 2018

Can I use my ma’aser kesafim, tithes from my income, to contribute to my synagogue’s building campaign, and can I use it to pay my shul’s membership dues? Giving money to the building of a house of God is the theme of this week’s parasha: Speak to the Children of Israel, and they that bring me an offering (terumah); from every person whose heart moves him to give, you shall take My offering (Ex.…

Meat and Milk Mix-Ups

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 8, 2018

Sally added tomato sauce to a milkhig soup, and then discovered that the tomato sauce did not have a hekhsher and contained meat! She called the company and found out that the meat content was approximately 5%. She knows that she has to kasher her pot, but she wants to know if she has to throw out the soup or can she give it to her doorman?…

Honoring an Abusive Parent?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 1, 2018

Must a Person Honor and Mourn for an Abusive Parent? The short answer is “no.”  One of the core principles in halakha when it comes to our obligation to others is hayekha kodmin, meaning our first ethical obligation is to ourselves.  …

Saying Kaddish for a non-Jewish Parent

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 25, 2018

May a Jew by choice sit shivah and say kaddish for their non-Jewish parent? To answer this question we must address two issues: (1) What is halakhah’s view of the parent-child relationship in these cases? The gemara states, “A person who converts is like a newborn infant,” (Yevamot 22a).…

Praying with a Cross in the Room

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 18, 2018

A person is a patient at Holy Cross Hospital and there is a crucifix on the wall of each room.  Can she make brakhot and daven there? A family wishes to have a bar mitzvah in the large, all-purpose hall of Catholic university, where there is a small cross affixed at the top of the east-facing wall, 20 feet off the ground.…