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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Acharei Mot

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?…

Land of Milk and Honey—Exploring the Blessing of Israel

by Rabbi Eitan Cooper
Posted on April 27, 2023

We’ve all heard the phrase—Israel is the “Land Flowing with Milk and Honey.”  But what exactly does this mean? And can this phrase teach us anything in particular, as we reflect on Israel turning 75 this past week? The end of this week’s Torah Portion (Achrei Mot-Kedoshim) contains one of the several instances of this famous description of Israel (though it is the only time in the book of Leviticus that it appears).…

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.…

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.…

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. …

The Lessons of Holiness Even In Death

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 25, 2016

From a literal perspective, the names of portions are nothing more than the first major word of the part of the Torah that is read during the week. It can, however, be argued that deep meaning actually lies within the names themselves.…

Our Mission to Turn Passive Fate into Active Destiny

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 21, 2016

Why were Nadav and Avihu, two of Ahron’s (Aaron) sons killed? The Torah states their death came when they brought an eish zarah, a foreign fire into the Temple. (Leviticus 10:1) But what was the nature of this fire? Some maintain that because the prohibition against drinking is found in the sentences that follow their death, (Leviticus 10:9) the fire alludes to the possibility that Ahron’s sons served in the sanctuary while intoxicated.…

A Hairsbreadth Can Be The Whole Difference

by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted on May 21, 2016

In parshat Vayikra, the Torah tells us that Aharon (Aaron) the High Priest, cast lots upon two goats, “one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for Azazel” (Leviticus 16:8). Rashi explains the procedure as follows: “One goat he (Aharon) placed on his right hand, the other on his left.…

Holy Imperfection

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 5, 2016

Acharei-Mot details the special avodah, the sacrificial rites, that the High Priest performed on Yom Kippur to affect atonement for the Jewish people. However, as the Vilna Gaon noted in Kol Eliyahu, the Torah only introduces the connection to Yom Kippur at the very end of the lengthy description of this special avodah.…

Two Types of Kedusha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 29, 2015

Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim represents the transition from the first half of Vayikra to the second. The first half is focused solely on the Temple, its holiness and the sacrifices conducted therein. Tazria-Metzorah, the previous double parasha, continued this theme, detailing the various ritual impurities, the tumot, that would require a person to be sent out of the camp and prevent his or her access to the Temple.…

The Yom Kippur Service and The Avoda of Teshuva

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 17, 1998

Parshat Acharay-Mot details the Temple service that the high priest would perform every Yom Kippur. Today, the description of the Temple service forms the center of the communal Yom Kippur Musaf prayer, and the Torah reading on Yom Kippur is taken from the parsha of Acharay-Mot.…