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.
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 09:37:06 PM
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In Parshat Naso, each tribal leader presents gifts and sacrificial offerings for the dedication of the Alter in the Mishkan. And although the offerings of the tribal chiefs were all identical, the Torah enumerates and repeats each one 12 times over. This is despite the fact that there is a general rule that the verses of the Torah are written with the upmost brevity. There are exactly 304,805 letters in the Torah. There is not even one extra letter. So what does this lengthy repetition come to teach us?

Superficially each of the 12 offerings of the tribal princes was identical in nature. However, each tribal leader presented his particular offering in his own unique manner, with different measures of enthusiasm, love, joy, and awe, from the other tribal heads.

Additionally, these eternal, hidden, emotional distinctions between the tribal prince’s offerings are actually more important to G-d than the actual physical content of what they donated. G-d does not need our gifts or offerings as He clearly states to the Prophet Yeshayahu. What G-d DOES desire from us is our total love and devotion to HIM. Thus, in the Amidah prayer, we recite the words, “G-d of Avraham, G-d of Yitzhak, and G-d of Yaakov”.

Why the repetition? Did not all the Avot serve the same G-d? Yet they all did serve G-d each one in a different manner, that reflected their uniqueness and their individual roles and missions in the world.

We too, must seek out our own individual and unique paths in our service of G-d, and not try to be the carbon copy of the service of others. G-d has given each and every one of us unique special talents and capabilities, in order to bring every one of us to our individual spiritual fulfillment and purpose.

As Frank Sinatra sang in his beautiful number one hit song, “NO ONE CAN DO IT MY WAY!”

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