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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 Chanuka - Light Up My Life  .: Viewed: 78 times :.
There was a number one hit song in the ‘80s by Debbie Boone called “Light Up My Life”. Was she singing about the Chanuka lights? Chanuka is the symbol of the Divine Light in the human soul, as Shlomo Hamelech says in Mishlei, " the candle of G-D is the soul of the human being”. We are part of G-d’s Endless Light – the EIN SOF. Why does Rambam call Chanuka...
Published: December 2, 2017
 The Two Faces of Yaacov  .: Viewed: 105 times :.
According to the Midrash Bereshit Raba 66, Yaacov’s image is engraved on G-d’s Heavenly Throne. In Yaacov’s dream, angels ascended the ladder to look on Yaacov’s image on the Heavenly Throne, and then descended the ladder to look on Yaacov on Earth. The angels were amazed at how both images were identical. Rav Soloveitchik explains, that when a person sins, his external...
Published: November 22, 2017
 Sefer Bereshit - G-d’s Love Letter to Us  .: Viewed: 75 times :.
The entire Sefer Bereshit contains only three mitzvoth out of the 613. So why do we need to know all the episodes and stories taking place in Sefer Bereshit? Kabbalah compares the Torah, but especially Sefer Bereshit, to a mirror and teaches us that each and every person is reflected in it and can see himself in the Torah. According to Kabbalah, the soul of each and every Jewish person ever...
Published: November 8, 2017
 Sarah – The First Beauty Queen  .: Viewed: 67 times :.
The Torah states, “Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven years.” (Bereshit 23:1) The Torah informs us of Sarah’s age by separating the hundreds, the tens, and the ones by adding the word “years” to each group. This seems to be redundant. We know there are no extra words or even letters in the Torah. Rashi explains that each...
Published: November 2, 2017
 Mt. Moriah vs. Mt. Sinai  .: Viewed: 85 times :.
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...
Published: October 24, 2017
 Was Noach FFB or BT?  .: Viewed: 97 times :.
G-d tells Avraham, "Walk before Me and be complete." (Bereshit 17:1) Rashi says that Avraham's completeness, his capacity to be TAMIM, was obtained by his observance of the Mitzvah of Brit Mila. As long as he had the orlah (foreskin) he had a physical imperfection. With its removal, Avraham now became complete. The question is why Avraham needed the Mitzvah of MILA to become a TAMIM...
Published: October 3, 2017
 Shabbat – The Soul Of The World!  .: Viewed: 89 times :.
In the division of the Torah into chapters and verses, the account of Shabbat in the Creation story comes at the beginning of Chapter 2. The Abarbanel informs us, that this division of the Bible into different chapters, is NOT of Jewish origin. These chapter divisions were invented by the Medieval Christian Bible printers. We use them for convenience only. By beginning a new chapter with...
Published: September 27, 2017
 NEILA – Locked In With G-d  .: Viewed: 346 times :.
Jay and the Americans had a hit song called “Let’s Lock the Door”. Jay attended Yeshiva Torat Emet in Boro Park. Was he singing about NEILA on Yom Kippur? The Hebrew word for the Satan is numerically equivalent (Gematria) to 364. The Midrash explains that during the 364 days of the year, the Satan has the power to prosecute the Jewish people. But on one day, Yom Kippur, he...
Published: September 17, 2017
 Fearsome Days or Happy Days?  .: Viewed: 149 times :.
There was a TV program called HAPPY DAYS. Is Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Happy Days or Fearsome Days? The Mishna in Tanit states that our most joyous and most happy Yom Tov is Yom Kippur. But Yom Kippur is the final seal of Judgement Day! So which is it? These days are called YAMIM NORAIM. In English it’s translated as DAYS OF AWE. Where does the word NORAIM come from? The first time...
Published: September 6, 2017
 Why Celebrate Judgement?  .: Viewed: 148 times :.
Rosh HaShana is a puzzling Yom Tov for us. On the one hand, we are facing an awesome judgment; on the other hand, we celebrate the day as a joyous holiday. One can hardly imagine someone facing a life and death judgment enjoying himself on that very day. Yet, the Halacha states that we must celebrate on Rosh HaShana by feasting on meat and wine. What is even stranger, we not only celebrate...
Published: September 1, 2017
 The Shofar - A Call to Action  .: Viewed: 149 times :.
On Rosh Hashana, when the Shofar is sounded, there is a pattern which repeats itself many times throughout the service. There is a straight blast (TEKIAH) followed by a broken blast (SHEVARIM TERUAH) followed by another straight blast (TEKIAH). Rabbi S.R. Hirsch explains that in the same way that the trumpets in the Desert (MIDBAR) were a call to Am Yisroel to journey forth, so too is the...
Published: August 23, 2017
 ELUL – Our Great Spiritual Adventure  .: Viewed: 194 times :.
Judaism’s great spiritual adventure begins in the month of Elul. In many ways Elul is the most profound spiritual re-JEWvenation, a time of introspection, of self-judgement, and spiritual improvement. We spend this month preparing for Judgement Day. It is a time to contemplate the greatest themes of existence, the meaning of our lives, free will, and the celebration of living...
Published: August 17, 2017
 The Torah is NOT P.C.  .: Viewed: 177 times :.
On Thursday, August 3rd the City of Jerusalem will host a Gay Pride Parade. As a result, some Torah Classes at the OU Israel Center will be cancelled. This is Bitul Torah big time. 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 Municipality of Jerusalem...
Published: August 7, 2017
 How G-d’s Children Should React to Grief  .: Viewed: 169 times :.
“You are Children to your G-d, thus you shall not cut yourselves as a sign of mourning for the dead.” (Devarim: 14:1). Being G-d's Chosen People, His unique treasure in this world, carries with it awesome responsibilities. Since G-d calls us His Children, we are commanded to exercise constraint when mourning for the passing of a loved one. The pagans mutilated their bodies as an...
Published: August 6, 2017
 Arab Terror – Is There Any Hope?  .: Viewed: 211 times :.
Once again, we are engulfed in a wave of brutal and savage Arab Terror. Is there any consolation? The Talmud in Sanhedrin states that before the arrival of Mashiach, we will experience a period of pain and suffering called the CHEVLEI Mashiach. Literally, this means the birth pangs of Mashiach. It is an interesting choice of words. We understand that the prelude to Mashiach will be painful,...
Published: July 26, 2017
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