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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sefer Vayikra

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.…

Religious Life and/or Halakha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 8, 2021

What is the place of religious passion in the life that is dedicated to halakha? After eight days of sanctifying and inaugurating the Mishkan, a fire comes out from heaven and consumes the final sacrifices of the inauguration. The people are so overwhelmed by religious feeling that they bow down and prostrate themselves.…

Passover 5781: What Story Are We Telling?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 24, 2021

Dear Friends, I want us to ask ourselves a simple question: What is the story that we will be telling? The central mitzvah of Pesach night is maggid, to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. In many of our homes on Seder night, we will have spirited discussions and debates as we attempt to be doresh – to engage in the story, to bring our personal lens to it, exploring its meaning and relevance to us today.…

Smelling Good…

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2021

“The priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet savor unto the Lord” (Vayikra, 1:13). We are told eight times in this week’s parasha that the sacrifices are a “sweet savor” to God. …

Kohen,-avodah-beit-hamikdash

Working Through the “Avodah”: Analyzing Leviticus 16

by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot
Posted on September 15, 2020

Scroll below the video to follow along with the source sheet.…

Is My Electric Shaver Kosher?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 3, 2018

QUESTION:  Can I shave with an electric shaver and are all models permissible? ANSWER:  In two separate verses, the Torah prohibits men to shave their beards.  In parashat Kedoshim, the Torah states: “You shall not destroy (tashchit) the corners of your beards,” (Vayikra 19:27). …

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth? – Part 2

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 26, 2018

May a husband hold his wife’s hand or give her a massage during childbirth, according to halakhah?  We began to answer this question last week and came to the following interim conclusions: A pregnant woman is not considered to be in niddah until either she experiences uterine bleeding (distinct from mere stains), or until a limb of the baby emerges from the womb. …

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth?  – Part 1

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 19, 2018

QUESTION:  I am nine months pregnant, and my husband and I have been doing Lamaze classes to prepare for the birth of our baby.  Part of the Lamaze method includes pressure massage and massage of the abdomen.  I have been told, though, that it is forbidden by halakhah for my husband to do this because I will be in niddah at that time. …

May My Toddler Drink Milk When She is Eating Meat or Is Treif Food Bad For Your Soul?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 12, 2018

QUESTION:  My daughter recently turned one year old.  For children of her age, it is recommended that they consume 16 ounces of whole milk a day.  It is hard to get my daughter to drink milk when she is not eating. …