Dov Linzer

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Dov Linzer
Native name
דב נתן לינזר
David Barry Linzer

Sept. 16, 1966
Silver Spring, Maryland
OccupationRabbi, teacher, lecturer, author, podcaster
Spouse(s)Devorah Zlochower
ChildrenKasriel, Netanel,,

Dov Linzer (Hebrew: דב נתן לינזר; born September 16, 1966) is an American Orthodox rabbi who is the Rabbinic Head (Rosh HaYeshiva) of the Modern Orthodox Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in Riverdale, New York. He is a teacher, lecturer, podcaster, and author.

In 2011, Newsweek ranked him among the 50 most prominent rabbis in the United States, [1] stating that "Linzer’s students now hold some of the most prominent positions in shuls and Hillels all over the country" and that his school's "alumni will undoubtedly alter the fabric of Modern Orthodoxy."

In 2008, Linzer received the prestigious Avi Chai Fellowship,[2][3] awarded to emerging communal and educational leaders.

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah[edit]

Linzer has been the Rabbinic Head of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah since its founding in 1999. He was named its dean, assuming ultimate responsibility of both the religious studies and the professional training, in October, 2007. He is recognized as a major Torah scholar in the Open Orthodox community,[4] and is the primary architect of the school's innovative curriculum.[5] Linzer also teaches Halakha and Jewish Thought to the school's rabbinical students.

In 2008, Linzer's Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, together with JOFA and the Drisha Institute sponsored a conference entitled "Demystifying Sex and Teaching Halacha: A Kallah (Jewish Bridal) Teacher’s Workshop,"[6] to bring frank talk about sex and sexuality into the requisite classes taken by Orthodox brides prior to their wedding. This conference was held again in 2011, with a second cohort of 15 bridal teachers from around the US and Israel.[7]

Linzer delivers a daily Daf Yomi class to men and women, available on iTunes[8] and YouTube.[9]

Two-Ring Ceremony[edit]

In 2003, Linzer wrote an article, "Towards a More Balanced Wedding Ceremony,",[10][11] describing ways of creating a more gender-balanced wedding ceremony while keeping within the letter and the spirit of Jewish Law. His most innovative suggestion was that of a halakhic two-ring ceremony, informally known as the "Linzer Two-Ring Ceremony.",[12][13] A standard Orthodox wedding ceremony has only the groom giving a ring to the bride and does not allow for the bride to give a ring to the groom other than in a purely symbolic fashion after the ceremony was completed. In contrast, Linzer's model has the bride giving a ring immediately after the groom does so, in the presence of witnesses, and serving a substantive halakhic (Jewish legal) function. This ceremony is seeing increasing use among liberal Orthodox couples.[14]

Public Positions[edit]

Linzer has taken a public stand on a number of controversial issues within the Orthodox Jewish community. In 2006, he was the only Orthodox rabbi to go on record supporting the naming of Dina Najman[15] as spiritual leader of the Orthodox congregation, Kehilat Orach Eliezer.[16]

Linzer, together with his wife, Devorah Zlochower, has been outspoken about the Orthodox community's responsibility to address children of special needs in its schools, synagogues and communal institutions, .[17][18] At Linzer's Chovevei Torah, rabbinical students receive special training in inclusion for people with physical, developmental and learning disabilities.[19]

In 2010, a paper commissioned by the Rabbinical Council of America voiced serious reservations as to the validity of brain-stem death as the Jewish legal definition of death.[20] The rejection of this definition would make almost all organ-transplants forbidden by Jewish Law. Linzer authored a "Rabbinic Statement Regarding Organ Donation and Brain Death",[21] reaffirming the legitimacy of the brain-death definition and critiquing those who would be prepared to receive organs but refuse to donate them.[22] This statement was signed by over 100 rabbis, including some of the most prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis in the U.S. and Israel. The RCA subsequently backed away from the implications of its paper.[23] The Agudath Israel of America then issued a statement which affirmed the halakhic validity of the original 2010 paper commissioned by the RCA as reflecting the position of "a majority of major poskim today".[24] This, in turn, prompted Tradition (journal) to publish a philosophical analysis of the merits of both Rabbi Linzer's and the Agudath Israel of America's respective statements.[25]



  • Linzer, Dov (2010). "Tza'ar Ba'alei Chaim (Animal Suffering): A Case Study in Halakha and Values". In Levy, Yamin. Mishpetei Shalom: A Jubilee Volume in Honor of Rabbi Saul (Shalom) Berman. Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing House. ISBN 978-1-60280-147-9.


  1. ^ "Most Influential Rabbis - The Daily Beast". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2012-01-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-02-24.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Students Choose Between RIETS and Chovevei Torah". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  5. ^ "Conference on Teaching Rabbinic Literature: Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy | Brandeis University". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  6. ^ "Among Orthodox Jews, More Openness on Sexuality". The New York Times. May 3, 2008.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2012-01-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Daf Yomi from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah by Rabbi Dov Linzer, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah on iTunes". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2012-01-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Toward a More Balanced Wedding Ceremony - My Jewish Learning". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  12. ^ "Double Ring Ceremonies - My Jewish Learning". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  13. ^ "The Linzer Model | The Kiddushin Variations". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  14. ^ Galant, Debra (September 4, 2005). "Tamara York and David Lowin". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Orthodox Jewish feminism#Spiritual Leadership
  16. ^ Luo, Michael (August 21, 2006). "An Orthodox Jewish Woman, and Soon, a Spiritual Leader". The New York Times.
  17. ^ "A Message from the Rosh HaYeshiva: 'Invisible Disability’ Kids Are Being Left Out". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  18. ^ "Small Steps Toward Inclusion | Jewish Week". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  20. ^ "RCA Backs Off Stand On Brain Death For Transplants | Jewish Week". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  21. ^ "Rabbinic Statement Regarding Organ Donation and Brain Death". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  22. ^ "Moral Consistency | Jewish Week". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  23. ^ "Pushback From Some Orthodox Rabbis On Brain-Death Ruling | Jewish Week". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  24. ^ "Statement re Statement re Brain Death - - | - Torah Musings". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  25. ^ "The Rabbi Linzer – Agudath Israel Debate on Brain Death: Methodological Considerations by Aryeh Klapper | Text & Texture". Retrieved 2017-02-24.

External links[edit]