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.
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 The Ishmaelite Caravan-Perfume?  .: Viewed: 190 times :.
"Yosef's brothers raised their eyes and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilad, and their camels were carrying sweet spices, and perfume." (Bereshit 37) Rashi asks why does the Torah gives us this seemingly needless information. Why do we need to know what the Ismaelites were carrying? Rashi explains that usually, Arab caravans transported petroleum and other foul-smelling...
Published: December 21, 2016
 The Rise and Fall of Yaakov's Angels  .: Viewed: 224 times :.
Yaakov had a dream, a ladder was set on the ground and its top reached up to heaven, and Angels of G-D were going up and down on it" (Bereshit 28). What is the meaning of this Heavenly Ladder? Life is like a ladder, a series of ups and downs. The ladder that was standing on the ground showed Yaakov that we must use the physical world as a ladder with which to elevate ourselves by serving...
Published: December 5, 2016
 What Miracle Do We Celebrate On Chanuka?  .: Viewed: 249 times :.
The motto of Chanuka, ""NES GADOL HAYA PO" (a great miracle occurred here) makes us think of the one day supply of oil that burned for 8 days. It is striking that the Chanuka liturgy omits mention of this miracle entirely. The AL HANISIM addition to the prayers and even the paragraph HANEROS HALALU (these candles) introducing the lighting of the Menorah, express praise and thanks to G-D...
Published: November 27, 2016
 The Chillul Hashem of False Piety  .: Viewed: 238 times :.
Earlier this month, a group of IDF soldiers were cursed and assaulted by "Chareidim" in Mea Shearim. The police had to escort the Soldiers out of the Shul in which they were praying. The appropriate response would have been to let the soldiers pray and instead arrest the violent individuals. Physical and verbal assaults and the incitement of violence are criminal acts. The fact...
Published: November 10, 2016
 Can Prayer Change G-D’s Mind?  .: Viewed: 271 times :.
What does a sick person hope to accomplish through prayer? G-D knows exactly what we need. My Rebbe Rav Pam, would repeat the question a cancer patient asked him in all sincerity. If pain and suffering are caused by one’s sins (Shabbat 55) and serve as a purifying process to spare the person from suffering in Gehenom, how may one pray that G-D remove the pain?  Does a critically...
Published: November 3, 2016
 Why Do We Dream?  .: Viewed: 279 times :.
There was a popular song called “Life is but a Dream”. The Mishnah in Avot states, “One moment of pleasure in the After-Life is better than all of life in this world”. How can we have confidence that another world awaits us after death? The answer is dreams! Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid, that you experienced it as if it were reality, but then you...
Published: November 1, 2016
 The Suka-Symbol of Life's Shadows  .: Viewed: 351 times :.
When contemplating the Festival of Sukot, we are confronted with a great paradox. According to Kabala, the Suka symbolizes our life span in this world. For what is a Suka? It is a frail structure in which we need to dwell for 7 days. The Ari reminds us that these 7 days of Sukot represent a person's average lifespan, which is 70 years. This was stated by King David, "The span of his years...
Published: October 7, 2016
 Yom Kippur's Magic Moment  .: Viewed: 312 times :.
Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook draws our attention to a strange phrase at the end of the Al Chet confession, which is said on Yom Kippur. "My G-D, before I was formed I was of no worth, and now that I have been formed, it is as if I was not formed." Rav Kook explains that the first part of this confession is easy to understand. Before I was formed I was obviously of no worth, since I did not yet...
Published: September 22, 2016
 The Shofar- Bookends of Jewish History  .: Viewed: 287 times :.
The Shofar is a very basic, natural instrument which, according to Halacha, may not be adorned with gold and silver. Its purity and simplicity, both in terms of its form and the notes it sounds, cut through the noise and BALAGAN of today’s world, calling the Jewish People back to the Torah. The Shofar connects us to the key moments of Jewish History that define our destiny as a Holy...
Published: September 12, 2016
 Shofar –The Soul’s Alarm Clock  .: Viewed: 302 times :.
Rosh Hashana is a time to step back and regain our lost vision. And the call of the Shofar is how we do it. The Rambam states that the message of the Shofar is to “Awaken those who are asleep”. The Rambam’s analogy to sleepashanaHhhhhhhhhRHHH is profound. The dreams we experience in our sleep seem so real at the time, yet the moment we wake up, we realize they were merely...
Published: September 8, 2016
 Seeing G-D In Nature  .: Viewed: 318 times :.
  The Yeshiva students are now on vacation touring the Holy Land. Is this considered BITUL TORAH-neglecting Torah study? In Parashat Lech Lecha, G-D tells Avraham, "Get up and tour the Land". The Torah is not ancient history, it is G-D's GPS (G-D's Personal System). G-D was not just speaking to Avraham, but to every Jew. G-D is commanding us to explore his Precious Holy Land. At the...
Published: August 26, 2016
 Written In Stone!  .: Viewed: 329 times :.
Parshat Eikev states, “At that time G-d said to me, carve out two tablets of stone like the first…. And I (G-d) will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets…  And I put the tablets in the Ark which I made.” (D’varim 10) Rav S.R. Hirsch notes that whenever the Torah discusses the LUCHOT – TABLETS, it mentions the material,...
Published: August 20, 2016
 Tisha'a B'Av-Did G-D Divorce Us  .: Viewed: 411 times :.
After the Ten Tribes had been exiled by Sancherev, Yishayahu speaks to the remaining tribes of Yehuda, Binyamin and Levi who remained in Eretz Yisrael. "Where is your mother's Bill of Divorce? I sent her away? INDEED! Because of your rebelliousness you were sent away!" (Yishayahu 50). The Prophet says that G-D will never divorce us. However, the Radak brings the words of Yirmiyahu who...
Published: August 10, 2016
 Finding The Lost Keys of The Mikdash  .: Viewed: 366 times :.
4 days a year we fast and mourn, commemorating different historical events of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. The 17th day of Tammuz is one of the 4 days, and it began a 3 week period of limited mourning that climaxes with Tisha B'Av, the day of the destruction of both Temples. Consistent with Judaism's optimism, the Biblical references about these 4 days, including Tisha B'Av, are NOT...
Published: August 2, 2016
 Why the OU Israel Center was Closed  .: Viewed: 434 times :.
Last Thursday afternoon, the OU Israel Center was forced to shut down. As a result, my Torah Class as well as others were canceled. The reason for the forced closure was the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. There is a verse in Devarim 28, “G-d will strike you with madness.”  This verse in the Torah is being fully and completely observed by our Politically Correct Leaders. The...
Published: July 24, 2016
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