Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Mt. Moriah vs. Mt. Sinai
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 08:56:39 PM
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After the Akeida on Mt. Moriah, Avraham named that site “Hashem Yireh” which means G-d sees all. Then he continues, “On this mountain G-d will be seen” (Bereshit 22:14).

According to the Rambam Hilchot Beth Habechirah 7, even today we are prohibited from walking on Mt. Moriah, where the Temple stood. The reason is that this place still retains its Kedusha even in the absence of the Temple. No power in the world can neutralize the holiness of this spot.

Rav Solivechik asks in Derashot Harav why is there no similar prohibition to ascend Mt. Sinai, where the Torah was given? Mt. Sinai maintains no Kedusha following the awesome event of the giving of the Torah. Why is there this difference in Halacha between these two mountains?

Rav Solivechik answers that we did not actively participate in the giving of the Torah. According to the Midrash Shir HaShirim Rabba, we overslept on the night of Shavuot and Moshe had to wake us up in order to receive the Torah. We did nothing to contribute to this block buster event. Thus, despite Mt. Sinai having been the site of the greatest Divine Revelation in human history, none of its Kedusha remains. As soon as the Divine Revelation was over, the holiness of the mountain vanished as well.

Mt. Moriah, explains Rav Solivechik, was completely and totally different. Avraham prepared an alter on that mountain and was willing to sacrifice his son on it. Thus, Avraham became a partner with G-d instilling permanent Kedusha on Mt. Moriah, which is the Temple Mount. As the verse states in Bereshit 22 “This place is the eternal resting place of G-d’s Presence.”

This explains why there is no Chabad House on Mt. Sinai. And we are not even certain where Mt. Sinai is because we did not contribute to its Kedusha. The message of the Akeida is that we must be G-d’s permanent and active partner in Tikun Olam.

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