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.
It’s NOW or Never!
Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 10:46:28 PM
Number of views: 140

“And NOW Israel, what does Hashem your G-d, ask of you? Only that you fear Hashem your G-d.” (Devarim 10:12)

The Midrash Bereshit Rabba 21 comments that the word NOW is a reference to Teshuvah. In what aspect does the word NOW denote the concept of Teshuvah? My Rebbe, Rav Pam ZT”L explains that contemplating how quickly time and life pass us by is the most powerful motive for striving to improve oneself and accomplish for our eternal soul during our short journey in this world. All a person truly has in this life is the present time, the NOW which we must utilize to our fullest extent by studying Torah and performing Mitzvot. This is our Stairway to Heaven.

This is what the Mishnah in Avot 1 teaches, “If not NOW, then when?” A person passes through life in this world very quickly, and whatever we accomplish in the here and NOW, is what will sustain our soul for all eternity by bonding and reuniting with G-d. As the number one song of the mid 60’s went, “Reunited and It Feels so Good!”

Only a foolish person would allow this precious opportunity of Teshuvah to slip away and not utilize the NOW as much as he can. This is the reference to Teshuvah found in this magic word NOW, and should be a source of great inspiration to us as we approach Elul, the month of Teshuvah.

Perhaps this what Elvis Presley meant in his number one hit song, “It’s NOW or NEVER!”

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