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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

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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.…

Active Religion

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on April 1, 2021

What would it mean to take an active role in our religious lives?  The splitting of the Yam Suf (Sea of Reeds) is the bookend to the story of the Exodus, just as the seventh day of Pesach is the bookend to the first day.…

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.…

Covid-19, Corona

Commemorating the Corona

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 22, 2021

Memory – not only the act of remembering, but nurturing and sustaining memory – is central to the Jewish ethos. “Zakhor” – you shall remember: remember what Amalek did; remember how you angered God; remember what God did to Miriam; remember the Sabbath day; remember when you stood at Mt Sinai; and of course, remember the day you were redeemed from Egypt.…

old hands; black and white hands; holding hands

Preparing for Our Final Moments

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 24, 2020

How can we leave behind a blessing once we are gone? “Va’yechi” – and he lived. Yaakov has come to the fullness of his life and knows that he will soon die. He calls Yosef to his bedside and broaches a subject that maybe Yosef would have preferred to avoid – his death, and the burial arrangements that must follow.…

COVID and Clothing

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 17, 2020

Our clothes are closely connected to our body and our identity. They have the power to disguise who we are, represent who we are, and even shape who we are. Clothing plays an important role in this week’s parsha and in the prior ones as well.…

vaccine-shot, needle

Should I Make a Brakha When Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Question: Do I make a brakha when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot or when it begins to be distributed in my city? If so, what brakha?   Answer: We should start by noting that the question you are asking is a halakhic one regarding the specific formulaic blessing of the Barukh atah nature.…

Episode 15: Education; Rav Moshe’s Philosophy of Education

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 18, 2018

Rabbi Linzer studies a long letter that Rav Moshe wrote in teshuvah form that expresses his philosophy of education – especially when confronting the challenges of educating Jewishly in America. http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/546785631-iggrosmosheatoz-episode-15-education-rav-moshes-philosophy-of-education.m4aPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 30:23 — 61.0MB)Subscribe: RSS…

Episode 14: Denominations; Interacting with Reform and Conservative Institutions

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 14, 2018

Rabbi Linzer looks at teshuvot about interacting with Conservative and Reform institutions. Can you take a job teaching at a Conservative school? What about renting space for a minyan in a non-Orthodox shul? Lastly, can I get married in a non-Orthodox shul?…

Episode 13: Denominations; Conversions and Marriages of Conservative and Reform

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 12, 2018

Rabbi Linzer tackles a host of teshuvot about Conservative and Reform marriages and conversions. Rav Moshe often invalidated these to solve agunah problems, but on what basis? http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/544020924-iggrosmosheatoz-episode-13-denominations-conversions-and-marriages-of-conservative-and-reform.m4aPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:48 — 36.8MB)Subscribe: RSS…

Episode 12: Denominations; Can you give kibbudim to Conservative and Reform Rabbis?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 11, 2018

Rabbi Linzer looks at Rav Moshe’s harshest teshuvot about Conservative and Reform Rabbis, where Rav Moshe suggests that brachot from these rabbis are not considered brachot, and that it is inappropriate to give them any kibbudim. http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/543457734-iggrosmosheatoz-episode-12-denominations-can-you-give-kibbudim-to-conservative-and-reform-rabbis.m4aPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 26:52 — 54.3MB)Subscribe: RSS…

Episode 11: Conversion; Can I Convert Without Total Observance?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 9, 2018

Rabbi Linzer unpacks two teshuvot about conversions that may not be totally kosher. http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/542122371-iggrosmosheatoz-episode-11-conversion-can-i-convert-without-total-observance.m4aPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:04 — 37.7MB)Subscribe: RSS…