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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Vayikra

Constructing Holy Space

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on May 19, 2022

After a long chapter that puts forth the details of Shemita and Yovel, the Torah concludes Parsha Behar with “You shall keep my Sabbaths and revere my Sanctuary” (Lev 26:2). While these are essential mitzvot, why does the Torah conclude its elucidation of the laws of Shemita with two unrelated commands?…

The Ben Ish Mitzri and Halakha

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on May 12, 2022

Sefer Vayikra is a book of laws. However, there are two short narrative sections in the sefer. This sparsity of narrative easily lends itself to a comparison of the two stories. Through an analysis of these stories, we can shed light on the halakhot of Sefer Vayikra in particular, and on the import of Jewish Law in general.…

Striving for Holiness in the Everyday

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on May 5, 2022

In Parshat Kedoshim, we find a plethora of mitzvot. HaShem tells us “You shall each revere his mother and his father,” “Keep My sabbaths,” and “Do not steal” (Lev. 19:3, 19:11). If these mitzvot sound familiar, you are not alone. They are very reminiscent of the Aseret HaDibrot.…

Achrei Mot: Counting Sefirat HaOmer

by Jason Goldstein
Posted on April 28, 2022

What is the purpose of Sefirat HaOmer? We are now well into our yearly journey through Sefirat HaOmer. We began counting on the second day of Pesach and will continue through Shavuot. Day in and day out, week in and week out, we count.…

Metzora: Two Tips I Learned In Yeshiva for Overcoming Lashon Hara (Evil Speech)

by eliyoggev
Posted on April 7, 2022

Parshat Metzora speaks about the healing process of the metzora from their tzara’at skin affliction. The Sages explain that one suffers from this malady due to speaking lashon hara, evil speech, about others. Lashon hara is such a bad thing that it completely transforms the individual for the worse—to the point that their skin starts to show the effects of this negative behavior! …

The Healing Power of Seeing Each Other

by eliyoggev
Posted on March 31, 2022

This week’s and next week’s Torah portions deal with a skin disease called tzara’at. Our parsha speaks about diagnosing the ailment. The healing process begins with the kohen, the priest, coming and assessing the situation, and deeming the suffering individual’s status that of a metzorah (a leper).…

Kosher Signs Lead to a Kosher Life

by eliyoggev
Posted on March 24, 2022

This week in Parshat Shmini, we learn the signs of a kosher animal. The Torah tells us that we may eat any land animal that has split hooves and chews their cud (Lev. 11:3). We do not know the deeper reasons behind the mitzvot, but there is a way to understand these laws of kashrut that really speaks to me.…

Performing Mitzvot: Now or Later? 

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 10, 2022

With the arrival of Parashat Vayikra, we are now in the parshiot of the korbanot, the sacrifices, which as moderns can sometimes feel a little difficult to relate to. I want to highlight one curious aspect of bringing korbanot that arises in the fifth chapter.…

A Year of Shabbat or Shmitta? When Torah Mandates Conflict

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 7, 2021

What happens when Torah directives are in conflict with one another, particularly within the same mitzvah? The mitzvah of the shmitta year serves as a prime example of this conflict. When shmitta appears at the beginning of our parsha, it is referred to as a Shabbat.…

Family First

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 29, 2021

Does the Torah advocate or permit a person to sacrifice obligations to the family if he or she devotes himself or herself to serving God? This question comes up in the context of the giving of the Torah, which we are about to celebrate on Shavuot.…

Engagement, Not Estrangement

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 22, 2021

What does it mean to live a holy life? Kedoshim opens with the words “קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י – You shall become holy because I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). The idea of holiness could–and has–been interpreted to mean that one should separate herself from this world, just as God is elevated above and fully separate from this world.…

Sending the Sick Outside the Camp

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 15, 2021

Who are our modern-day metzoraim, the people who are pushed outside of normal society and keep distant and hidden from everyone else?  The metzora is not a leper, but he is much like one. He has a serious skin disease and is sent outside of the Israelite camp, in an area that would eventually become outside of the city walls of the Land of Israel.…