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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


Terumah – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Using Ma’aser Kesefaim Money for a Shul’s Building Fund

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 14, 2024

דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת תְּרוּמָתִי: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they shall bring to Me an offering: from every person who gives it willingly with his heart shall you take My offering.…

The Persistence of Holiness

by Rabbi Michael Gordan
Posted on February 14, 2024

With the beginning of Parashat Terumah, the book of Shemot puts behind it both the exodus and the civil laws of Mishpatim, and launches into its last great theme—the details of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), its furnishings and construction. The Mishkan will be an integral part of the camp of b’nei Yisrael, the children of Israel, as they move through the desert, and will continue to be a presence after they cross the Jordan into Israel.…

Mistakes, Manuscripts and Mankind

by Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence
Posted on February 23, 2023

In this week’s parsha, Rashi makes a comment explaining the function of what seems to be a superfluous “vav” before the word “et” in 25:22. This comment would be in line with many of his other comments, except one significant detail: there is no such “vav” before the “et” in our chumashim.…

Planting Seeds for the Next Generation

by Gabriel Greenberg
Posted on February 3, 2022

Shalom. This is Gabe Greenberg again, Rabbi and Executive Director of Penn Hillel. I’m excited to be learning Parshat Terumah with you this week. In the Hillel world, we ask a very fundamental question. Given that we have access to our Jewish students for just a four-year window in their young adulthood, what do we want to teach them?…

Why is the Temple Not a Golden Calf?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 18, 2021

What’s the difference between the making of the egel ha’zahav (golden calf) and the building of the mishkan (the Tabernacle)?  When it comes to the building of the Temple, our Rabbis teach that God is not primarily to be found on the mountaintop, where Avraham encountered God.…

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.…

All that Glitters…

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on September 9, 2016

The building of the Mishkan naturally raises the question of why God needs all that gold and silver. What happened to מזבח אדמה תעשו לי? And if God doesn’t need it, is it to address a human need? And if that is true, why is there so little “splendor” in our בתי כנסת today?…

The Unique Character of the Holiness of Jerusalem

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

Parshat Terumah talks about the first synagogue of all time – the mishkan. Because the chasm between the finite human being and the infinite God is great, the mishkan was established so that there would be a tangible place where people could feel more intensely, more powerfully, the presence of God.…

The Mishkan as a Vehicle to Our Connection With God

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 21, 2016

Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik of blessed memory, points out that prayer and prophecy are two sides of the same coin. While both involve dialogue between the human being and God, there is one major difference: In prophecy God initiates the dialogue, while in prayer, the human being is the initiator.…

From Promise to Practice

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 11, 2016

During the events of the Giving of the Torah, the Children of Israel have been pretty passive. When asked for their assent to the Torah before and after it was given they responded, “We will do.” and they participated in a ceremony marking their covenant with God.…

Can God Dwell on Earth?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 19, 2015

Why did God command the People of Israel to build a Mishkan? The answer seems obvious: “They shall build Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell in their midst” (Shemot, 25:8). The Mishkan, from the root sh’k’n, to dwell, was to be a place where mere mortals could feel God’s actual presence, a place in which God could dwell in the physical realm.…

Just the People of the Book, Really?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 31, 2014

Reprinted from my article in this week’s Jerusalem Report The Judaism that most of us are are familiar with teaches that one’s religious expression, outside of the observance of mitzvot, is to be found in the intellectual realm of Torah study.…