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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Shemini

Shemini – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Havdalah: Before Tzeit/Lost Sense of Smell

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 4, 2024

וּֽלְהַבְדִּ֔יל בֵּ֥ין הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ וּבֵ֣ין הַחֹ֑ל וּבֵ֥ין הַטָּמֵ֖א וּבֵ֥ין הַטָּהֽוֹר׃ for you must distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the impure and the pure; (Vayikra 10:10). Havdalah for Kids Before Tzeit QUESTION—New England, USA For many of my families, day light savings time means that Havdalah will be later than their kids bed time.…

Shemini: The Perfect Parasha for these Challenging Times

by Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
Posted on April 4, 2024

If you go to shul this weekend, listen to the Torah reading, and are left with an eerie feeling, you will be in good company. Furthermore, if you didn’t know otherwise, you’d be excused for thinking that this week’s Torah portion was written by a contemporary theologian sometime after October seventh.…

Kosher Signs Lead to a Kosher Life

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
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.…

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.…

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. …

Have You Done Your Korban Pesach Yet?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 1, 2016

Parashat Parah commemorates the process of purification that would precede the bringing of the korban Pesach. Appropriately, sometimes we read it at the end of Parashat Shmini, which describes how, after the completion of the dedication of the altar, the sacrifices would henceforth be desired and received in Heaven: “And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces” (Vayikra 9:24).…

The Danger of Unbridled Religious Passion

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 16, 2015

After many months of construction – and many parshiyot devoted to its narrative – the Mishkan is finally dedicated and made operational in Parashat Shmini. On the eighth and final day of the inauguration, Moshe introduces the final series of sacrifices to the Children of Israel with the declaration that, if they are properly brought, “the Glory of the Lord will appear ” (Vayikra, 9:6).…

One Step at a Time

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 20, 2012

When we read Parashat Shemini, we are in the middle of the counting of the Omer–a process of seven weeks of seven days–until we finally arrive at Shavuot.  This counting marks the time – in Rabbinic thought – from the Exodus to the revelation of God and the receiving of Torah at Har Sinai.…

Religious Passion, the Mikdash and the Temptation of Idolatry – Primary Sources

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 25, 2011

In connection with the recent posting on Parshat Shmini and the sin of Nadav and Avihu, I present these sources which speak to both sides of the tension between religious passion and boundaries, between the physicality of the Mikdash and religious experience and the temptation of idolatry.…

Holiness, Self-Restraint, and Personal Growth

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 28, 1998

Parshat Shmini opens with the culmination of the process of inducting Aaron and his sons into the priesthood. For seven days they had offered the same sacrifices and repeated the same ritual. Now, on the eighth day, a special ceremony was performed to inaugurate the sanctuary and their role in it as priests.…