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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Shemot

Speech in Exile

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 14, 2021

Moshe complains to God that since speaking to the Israelites things have only gotten worse. God tells Moshe to return to the people and tell them that God will redeem them from Egypt and take them to be God’s nation. The people, however, are deaf to this message due to their hard labor.…

Magen-David, Jewish

Who (or What) Defines Us As a People?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 7, 2021

With the opening of the book of Shemot, we transition from Bereshit, the story of the family, to Shemot, the story of the nation. It is a shift in the meaning of “Bnei Yisrael,” from “the children of the man named Yisrael (Yaakov),” to “The Nation of Israel (the Israelites).”…

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.…

Blinded by the Light

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2020

  What message can we learn from our parsha to give us some guidance during this crisis? Parshat Vayekhel-Pikudei opens with the second story of the Mishkan. After having been commanded by God in the building of the Mishkan in Terumah-TiZaveh, Moshe now, in turn, commands the people to build the Mishkan.…

Zakhor and Megillah For Those Under Quarantine

Question: Can people under quarantine fulfil the mitzvah of megillah by listening on the telephone or by participating via Zoom or the like?  What can these people do regarding listening to parashat Zakhor?   Summary: For megillah – One may rely on those Aharonim who rule that a person fulfils his or her obligation.…

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.…