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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 A Childs' First Torah Lesson: Korbonot?  .: Viewed: 1311 times :.
For centuries,(even TODAY in Chassidic Yeshiva Chedar), Jewish children traditionally began their Torah studies with Parshat Yayikrah. It seems odd that a child's entry into the world of Torah should begin with a study of the sacrifices offered to G-d. Why should it not begin with the narrative of Creation in the Book of Genesis or the narrative of Israel 's liberation from bondage in Egypt in...
Published: May 24, 2011
 A Constant Awareness of Jewish Suffering  .: Viewed: 1292 times :.
Hundreds of thousands of our fellow Jews are under attack by rockets and missles from Gaza. Some are wounded physically, but many more are traumatized emotionally and suffer from shock, including many children. What should be our reaction in the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv area who are so far not under attack? How do we show solidarity with our suffering bretheren? The Torah tells us that Moshe...
Published: November 13, 2012
 A Modern Day Amalek?  .: Viewed: 1953 times :.
Over 9000 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel since the Gaza withdrawl and the expulsion of almost 10,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif in the summer of 2005. The sporadic rocket fire continues until today. Why does Hamas reject any peace with Israel or even the existence of Israel itself?   There are the public proclamations by Hamas for the destruction of Israel and...
Published: February 8, 2012
 A Tikkun for the Spies Syndrome  .: Viewed: 882 times :.
What was the sin of the Spies?  It cannot be that the sin was the very fact that they were sent.  On the contrary,  we find the use of spies against the enemy camp in many places.  For example, it says, “Moshe sent out men to spy on Ya’azer” (Bamidbar 21:32).  Likewise, Yehoshua sent out two spies to see the Land and Jericho.  Regarding Gideon we...
Published: June 13, 2014
 Aaron HaCohen's Yahrtzeit – The Only One in the Torah!  .: Viewed: 840 times :.
Why is Aaron HaCohen's Yahrtzeit the only one mentioned in the Torah? None of the Avot or the Imahot were accorded such an honor and not even Moshe Rabbenu. Only the date of the death of Aaron is mentioned. Why? Aaron's Yahrtzeit is the first day of the month of Av, and the Jewish calendar is structured so that Parshat Masei which records Aaron's death is read before Tisha B'Av. Why? The...
Published: June 22, 2015
 Aaron's Moment of Silence (and Mine)  .: Viewed: 1341 times :.
In Loving Memory of Our Dear Son, Asher Shmuel Chaim ben Ephraim V'Tziona Z"L. After Aaron's two sons were struck dead by G-d, the Torah records Aaron's reaction, in Vayikra 10:3, "And Aaron was silent." The Ramban notes that Aaron maintained his silence only after first breaking into sobs. The Abarbanel disagrees asserting that Aaron did not react to the tragic death of his sons....
Published: April 10, 2013
 Aharon's Heart of Gold  .: Viewed: 476 times :.
Neil Young had a hit song in the 1970s called "Heart of Gold". Was he singing about Aharon HaKohen? Perhaps, that is why G-d chose Aharon to be the Kohen Gadol and to wear the golden vestments. The Torah states, "And Aharon shall bear the judgment of the Children of Israel on his heart constantly before G-D" (Shemot 28:30). This verse is a reference to the CHOSHEN-BREAST PLATE, which Aharon...
Published: February 18, 2016
 An Educational Magic Moment Lost  .: Viewed: 1030 times :.
The recent prayer rally in Jerusalem was one of the largest gatherings of Jews praying since the Mount Sinai revelation where over 600,000 Jews came together in prayer and supplication. There was even a special blessing recited for a gathering of 600,000 Jews. This was a golden opportunity for the Chareidi public to communicate directly with their secular brethren, allay their fears, and...
Published: March 10, 2014
 Arab Terror: An Ongoing Tisha B'Av  .: Viewed: 510 times :.
The Shin Bet has just informed us that Arab terror attacks are up 50% from last year. The Moslem fast days of Ramadan, which began on June 17, have coincided with a surge of murderous terror attacks against Jews. The moving Kinah of "ARZEI HALEVANON", which is recited on TIsha B'Av states, "The martyred Jews were filled with good deeds like the seeds of a pomegranate and like the corners of...
Published: July 2, 2015
 Arab Terror: Birth Pangs of Mashiach  .: Viewed: 496 times :.
The Talmud 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, a time of war and world wide terrorism, but why the metaphor of birth pangs?   On a simple...
Published: April 10, 2016
 Are the Dead Aware of the Living?  .: Viewed: 2096 times :.
In memory of my student Baruch Naim ז " ל When we visit a cemetery or remember a loved one on a Yahrzeit, we may find ourselves wondering whether the deceased are aware of us. Do they know what we are thinking about, what we are feeling? Do they empathize with our travails? Do they see our actions? Our Talmudic sages are divided over the question: What do the dead...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Are the Deceased Aware of Us?  .: Viewed: 793 times :.
Are the Deceased Aware of Us? In memory of my student Karen Yemima bat Avraham V'Sarah, murdered by an Arab Terrorist הי"ד When we visit a cemetery or remember a loved one on a Yahrzeit, we may find ourselves wondering whether the deceased are aware of us.  Do they know what we are thinking about, what we are feeling?  Do they empathize with our travails?  Do they see our...
Published: November 12, 2014
 Astrology & Judaism  .: Viewed: 1676 times :.
In Judaism, different attitudes have been expressed towards astrology. Most Talmudic sages believed in the decisive role played by celestial bodies in determining human affairs. It was possible, they thought, for astrologers to predict the future by consulting the stars but also for them to err in understanding the contents of their forecasts. According to the Talmud, everyone has a particular...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Avraham's Eshel Tree  .: Viewed: 1049 times :.
The Torah informs us in Bereshit (21:33), "And he (Avraham) planted an Eshel tree in Beer Sheva, and there he proclaimed the Name of Hashem, G-d of the Universe." Why does the Torah have to tell us about Avraham's planting of a tree? The Torah is not ancient history, but G-d's authorized manual for our daily lives. Moreover, how is "proclaiming the Name of Hashem, G-d of the Universe" related...
Published: October 29, 2014
 Avraham's Legacy: Escorting Guests?  .: Viewed: 1416 times :.
"Avraham walked with them to escort them" (Genesis 18:16) The Rambam writes ( Hilchos Aveil 14:1), "There is a mitzvah enacted by the Sages to visit the sick, to comfort the bereaved, to conduct a funeral for the dead, to marry off a bride and to escort guests as they are leaving." The Rambam gives us a short list of five mitzvos that we are required to do for other people. If you would...
Published: May 24, 2011
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