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.
Bilam’s Blessing - CARPE DIEM
Published: Friday, July 5, 2019 11:04:58 AM
Number of views: 1320

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 morning we pounce and grab like a lion to perform the Mitzvot of Tzitzit, Tefilin and prayer. Rav Moshe Feinstein says that Rashi is teaching us that a Mitzva which is seized because one is afraid to delay it is more meritorious than any other type of Mitzva.

One might think that if one is on the road and a Mitzva comes his way, which could be done immediately, or performed later in a more deliberate manner, that it would be preferable it wait until later, to do the Mitzva in a more thoughtful and unhurried manner. The Torah teaches us here that a Mitzva performed by “seizing” is superior because our action demonstrates our concern that perhaps an unforeseen event will occur, which will prevent us from performing the Mitzva later.

This attitude demonstrated by such zealous behavior is superior to all other ways and can enhance the performance of our Mitzvot.

Thus, the Talmud in Eruvin explains that this world is likened to an enormous wedding buffet. Just like at a wedding buffet with a huge selection of mouthwatering dishes, you can grab and seize as much of the delicious food as you want until the caterer take it all away. So too, while we are in this world we must seize as many Mitzvot as quickly as we can before the Heavenly Caterer takes it all away! As the famous saying goes, Carpe Diem – Seize the Day’s Mitzvot as soon as you can, before it’s too late. So let’s go for it!

As Elvis Presley famously sang: IT’S NOW OR NEVER!

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