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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 Rosh Hashana’s Enigma - Fearful with Joy  .: Viewed: 55 times :.
In the Torah, Rosh Hashana is called YOM TERUA (a day of blowing the horn: Numbers 29:1). Although horns are generally sounded on joyous occasions, here the horn or, more specifically the shofar signifies a solemn holiday, when we are all put on trial. We all stand before the Supreme Judge - G-d! This heavenly trial continues for 10 days until Yom Kippur. On Rosh Hashana, according to the...
Published: September 3, 2019
 Elul - Give Me Shelter  .: Viewed: 62 times :.
“You shall separate 3 cities for yourself in your land, which Hashem your G-d, is giving you to inherit.” (Devarim 19:2) The Torah commands us here to designate cities of refuge and shelter. These refuge cities are for the person who commits an accidental murder, where he would run, to receive protection from the GOAL HADAM (The redeemer of blood). These cities of refuge are...
Published: September 1, 2019
 Elul - Come Blow Your Horn!  .: Viewed: 112 times :.
Why do we blow Shofar during the month of Elul? Is it just to give the Bal Tokah (the Shofar Blower) a chance to warm up and practice for Rosh Hashana? Rosh Hashana is a time to step back and regain our lost vision. 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 sleep...
Published: August 21, 2019
 We All Shine On  .: Viewed: 92 times :.
“Behold, You (Israel) are today like the stars of Heaven in abundance.” (Devarim 1:10) The Torah compares the Jewish People to the stars in the heavens. But there is another verse in Devarim 7 which seems to contradict this verse. There the Torah states “For You (Israel) are the fewest and the least of ALL Nations.” Rashi on Devarim 1:10 deals with this problem. He...
Published: August 7, 2019
 Tisha B’Av - PLAN A or PLAN B?  .: Viewed: 131 times :.
The Mitzva to mourn on Tisha B’Av is only temporary, (PLAN B) until it becomes a permanent day of joy and celebration when Mashiach comes as stated in Zacharya 8. Thus, Tisha B’Av is destined to be part of our Halachic tradition, but NOT as a day of eternal mourning. Therefore, in Megillat Eicha, which is read on Tisha B’Av, Yirmiyahu refers to Tisha B’Av as a MOED...
Published: July 25, 2019
 Will the FINAL Mikdash be a Physical Building?  .: Viewed: 117 times :.
Zecharya ch. 8 tells us that Tisha B’Av will become a joyous festive Yom Tov when Mashiach comes and builds the third and final Beit Hamikdash. The prophet Yechezkel deals with the construction of the Third and Final Temple in great detail. A major problem is that Yechezkel’s vision of the Third Beit Hamikdash in ch. 48 describes a Sanctuary Structure of enormous, gigantic...
Published: July 22, 2019
 Our Spiritual DNA  .: Viewed: 104 times :.
After the Jewish People sinned with the Moabite and Midianite women, as a punishment, G-d caused a plague that killed 24,000 Jews. G-d then commanded Moshe to take a new census of the people. Rashi notes that each family name of the 12 tribes has a prefix of the letter HEI and a suffix of the letter YUD. Rashi explains the reason for this is that G-d testifies through His Name the YUD and...
Published: July 19, 2019
 Bilam’s Blessing - CARPE DIEM  .: Viewed: 152 times :.
Some of the most beautiful blessings that we receive in the Torah, are stated by the infamous and evil Bilam. For instance, “Behold, the Jewish People will arise like a mighty lion…” (Bamidbar 23:24) Rashi comments on this verse that Israel strengthens themselves like a ferocious lion to seize the Mitzvot. Rashi explains that when we awake from our sleep in the early...
Published: July 5, 2019
 Para Aduma - A Little Dab Will Do Ya  .: Viewed: 118 times :.
“He (the defiled person) shall purify himself (with the Red Cow ashes) on the third and on the seventh day, then he will become pure.” ….(Bamidbar 19:12) The classic example of a CHOK (a Mitzva beyond human understanding), is the Red Cow, whose ashes are used to purify a person from defilement by a dead body. As Rashi notes, immersion in a MIKVEH is insufficient to remove...
Published: June 28, 2019
 Get a Life  .: Viewed: 130 times :.
“Now Korach took upon himself (to mutiny against Moshe)…..along with ON ben Pelet…” ON ben Pelet also was a member of the Korach mutiny against Moshe. But then he completely and totally disappears from the scene. What happened to him? The Talmud in Sanhedrin relates that his wife talked him out of it and saved him from his mad folly. The Talmud explains that the...
Published: June 19, 2019
 TZITZIT - Buy One, Get 613  .: Viewed: 140 times :.
“When You see the TZITZIT, you will remember all the Mitzvot of G-d, in order to perform them” (Bamidbar 15:39). Rashi comments on this verse that the GEMATRIA of the word TZITZIT equals 600, and eight strings of the TZITZIT and five knots, all together equaling 613, corresponding to the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah. But why do we need the garment to which the TZITZIT are attached?...
Published: June 14, 2019
 The Light of My Life  .: Viewed: 145 times :.
“By the mouth of G-d they encamped, and by the mouth of G-d they traveled” (Bamidbar 9:23). The Jewish People never knew in advance how long they would be staying at an encampment in the wilderness. It could have been for a day or for even years. Nonetheless, we would set up the Mishkan at each encampment, following G-d’s instructions to keep the Mishkan functioning at all...
Published: June 4, 2019
 I Did It My Way!  .: Viewed: 198 times :.
Our Holy Torah, G-d’s most treasured possession, which He gave us on Shavuot, contains exactly 304,805 letters. There is not even one extra letter in our Holy Torah, let alone an extra verse. So why does the Torah in Parshat Naso repeat the Tribal Princes’ offerings which they brought to dedicate the Altar in the Mishkan 12 identical times? The Torah could have simply given the...
Published: May 29, 2019
 Ruth - Transforming Vice to Virtue  .: Viewed: 176 times :.
How can we understand the fact that our Mashiach, King David, descends from sullied and problematic lineage? His paternal ancestors, including his great grandfather Boaz, were the result of an act of incest between Yehuda and his daughter-in-law Tamar. She deceived Yehuda by posing as a harlot in order to have his child. Yet Yehuda is the father of the tribe from whom the Mashiach will emerge...
Published: May 21, 2019
 Making Each Day Count!  .: Viewed: 183 times :.
Sefirat Ha'Omer commands us to make time count. We count each day, to make every day count. My friend and mentor, Rav Chaim Wilschanski SHLITA explains in his book that the word SFIRA (to count) is related to the word SAPIR (Sapphire). Each day should be cherished, treasured and unwrapped like a precious sapphire. The counting of the Omer links the physical freedom of Pesach to the...
Published: May 6, 2019
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