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.
I Did It My Way!
Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 10:14:32 PM
Number of views: 524

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 details of the first prince’s offering and then stated that this same identical offering was also brought by all 12 leaders.

The Ramban explains that the repetition is necessary to teach that each and every Jew is unique and special. Even though we all perform the same identical Mitzvot but in the words of the famous Frank Sinatra song, “No one can do it MY WAY!” Every Jew has a unique and special contribution to the Torah that is only revealed thru his personal role and mission in life.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe expands on this idea. He explains that each and every Jew has a unique and different way of elevating the physical world and drawing a different type of spiritual energy into the world.

We all recite the same words in our prayers and perform the exact same Mitzvot. Yet we are all individuals. We are not only permitted to express our own individual feelings in our prayers and in our Mitzvot, but the Rebbe says we are REQUIRED to do so!

Furthermore, just as the Torah repeats the same words but each time the meaning is different, so must we bring new meaning to the Mitzvot and prayers that we repeat daily.

Each and every day’s prayers and Mitzvot should reflect the unique spiritual accomplishments we have achieved since the last time we prayed or performed that specific Mitzvah.

This is some of the food for thought that we should ingest on the Holy Yom Tov of Shavuot along with the cheesecake!

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