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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Sefer Vayikra

Bechukotai – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Counting a Security Person in Another Room as the Tenth for a Minyan

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 30, 2024

וִֽישַׁבְתֶּ֥ם לָבֶ֖טַח בְּאַרְצְכֶֽם and dwell in your land safely (Vayikra 26:5) QUESTION—Houston, TX We pray out of the JCC and are required to have a security person at the door when the building is otherwise closed, which includes Shabbat. For financial reasons, we use rotating volunteers, but sometimes, like for Mincha, we have ten men, and only ten men.…

Collective Responsibility: In Crisis and Beyond

by Rabbi Shmuel Hain
Posted on May 30, 2024

In the middle of this week’s terrifying Tohakhah, the Rabbis located a core halakhic and theological principle. They will stumble over each other as they would before a sword, even though no one is chasing them! You will have no power to stand before your enemies.…

Behar – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Can a Lender Charge the Borrower for the Opportunity Costs of a Loan?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 23, 2024

אַל־תִּקַּ֤ח מֵֽאִתּוֹ֙ נֶ֣שֶׁךְ וְתַרְבִּ֔ית וְיָרֵ֖אתָ מֵֽאֱ-לֹהֶ֑יךָ וְחֵ֥י אָחִ֖יךָ עִמָּֽךְ do not exact from him advance or accrued interest, but fear your God. Let him live by your side as your kinsman (Vayikra 25:36) QUESTION—Washington, D.C. One person wants to lend a large sum of money (short-term loan) to another.…

Parashat Behar: “My Faith, My Land, My Name”

by Rabbi Yehuda Hausman
Posted on May 23, 2024

And God spoke to Moses at Mt. Sinai saying: Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: When you come into the Land that I give you, The Land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. (Vayikra 25.1-2) The opening verses of this week’s portion are like stage directions for a play.…

Emor – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Does Someone Who Becomes Bar Mitzvah During Sefirat HaOmer Count With a Berakhah?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 16, 2024

וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּֽחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת מִיּוֹם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּֽהְיֶֽינָה And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering—the day after the sabbath—you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete(Vayikra 23:15) QUESTION—Baltimore, MD Assuming counting the omer is one mitzvah for the entire period, if you turn 13 in the middle of the counting, are you allowed to say the blessing since there was no obligation to count prior to turning 13?…

Implementing the Communal Will of a Holy People

by Rabbi Yossi Ben Harush
Posted on May 16, 2024

Parashat Emor concludes with an apparent non sequitur: After delving into the laws of priests and the sanctuary, and describing the festivals celebrated in the Mishkan, the Torah tells us about a dispute between two individuals from the Israelite camp, leading one to curse the other in God’s name.…

Kedoshim – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Orlah outside of Israel

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 9, 2024

וְכִֽי־תָבֹ֣אוּ אֶל־הָאָ֗רֶץ וּנְטַעְתֶּם֙ כָּל־עֵ֣ץ מַֽאֲכָ֔ל וַֽעֲרַלְתֶּ֥ם עָרְלָת֖וֹ אֶת־פִּרְי֑וֹ שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֗ים יִהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶ֛ם עֲרֵלִ֖ים לֹ֥א יֵאָכֵֽל When you enter the land and plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden for you, not to be eaten (Vayikra 19:23).…

The Meaning of the Word Kadosh

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 9, 2024

How does one attain the status of kedusha (holiness), commanded in parashat Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:2)? Some maintain that the pathway to holiness is to separate from the real world. Suppressing the body is the only way the soul can soar. Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik points out that this is the predominant approach of most faith communities.…

Acharei Mot – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Weddings During the Omer

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 1, 2024

To read this post in Spanish, click here To read this post in French, click here To read this post in Hebrew, click here QUESTION—New York, NY I have been invited to a wedding which will take place the last week in May, before Lag ba’Omer.…

One Nation Under God?

by Rabbi Haggai Resnikoff
Posted on May 1, 2024

Can the Jews achieve unity? The question is serious. Is there anything that could unify the entire Jewish community? We disagree on religious practice, on politics, on theology. We disagree on the macro and on the micro. What idea or feeling could unify us?…

Metzora – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Haircuts During Chol HaMoed

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 18, 2024

וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יְגַלַּח אֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וְאֶת־זְקָנוֹ וְאֵת גַּבֹּת עֵינָיו וְאֶת־כָּל־שְׂעָרוֹ יְגַלֵּחַ And it shall be on the seventh day, he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows; all his hair he shall shave off.”…

Outside the Camp

by Rabbi Ilay Ofran
Posted on April 18, 2024

Translated from the Hebrew by Elisha Gordan Parashat Metzora is famously difficult to unpack. It deals with obscure illnesses that can render a human impure and the convoluted processes of purification that can counteract those effects. These illnesses are mostly unknown today, and the laws detailed in the parasha have fallen out of practice.…