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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 Adam’s PSALM for Shabbat  .: Viewed: 218 times :.
The Talmud (Shabbat 154) states, "Torah scholars grow wiser as they grow older, but boors become more foolish as they age." We all see the same world, but how we interpret the events that we see varies greatly. King Solomon says (Mishlei 2:14), "The eyes of a wise person are in his head." How shall this verse be understood? Aren't everyone's eyes in one's head? The explanation is that the...
Published: September 16, 2018
 SUKKOT - When the Sages Became Entertainers  .: Viewed: 247 times :.
All the festivals are times of rejoicing, but only Sukkot is called ZMAN SIMCHATEINU (season of our joy). While today we immediately think of Simchat Torah when it comes to joy, the Mishna (Sukkah 5:1) tells us about a ceremony held on Sukkot that “he who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing has never in his life seen true rejoicing.” Something about this...
Published: September 5, 2018
 Yom Kippur - G-d’s Debate with Israel  .: Viewed: 216 times :.
The Mishna in Yoma 8 states, "Sins that are between a person and his fellow Jew are NOT atoned for on Yom Kippur." One cannot offend and harm another person and ask for forgiveness from G-d. Forgiveness must be asked and can only come from the person that we hurt, and only he can pardon us. Thus, on the morning of Yom Kippur we read the amazing words of the prophet, Yeshayahu, (Ch.58) where...
Published: August 31, 2018
 The Last of the 613 - Write G-d’s Love Song  .: Viewed: 260 times :.
The last of the 613 Mitzvot is, “And now, write for yourselves this song, teach it to the Children of Israel. Place it into their mouths”…(Devarim 31:19). According to Sanhedrin 21b this verse teaches that it is a Mitzva for every Jewish Person to write a Sefer Torah for himself. Why is the Torah referred to by the unusual term “song”? There is no other Mitzva...
Published: August 29, 2018
 T’SHUVA - Going BACK to the Future  .: Viewed: 296 times :.
There was a cute movie in 1985 with the Jewish actor Michael J. Fox called “Back to the Future”. This is exactly what the T’shuva process is all about. Through T’shuva we can reset the clock by actually changing our sinful past. The Rambam states that T’shuva consists of a 4 step process where we have the awesome opportunity to erase our sins and wipe away the...
Published: August 15, 2018
 To Know HIM is to Love HIM  .: Viewed: 257 times :.
There was a number one hit song in 1958 called “To know HIM is to love HIM, and I do!” Was this song about G-d? Because the Shema Yisrael, which we recite twice a day states “You shall love Hashem your G-d with all your heart and soul.” (Devarim 6:5) This verse that commands us to love G-d raises a complicated question. Is it possible to command someone to love...
Published: August 7, 2018
 It’s NOW or Never!  .: Viewed: 205 times :.
“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...
Published: August 7, 2018
 How Teshuva Re-JEW-vinates us  .: Viewed: 306 times :.
According to my Great-Great-Grandfather, Bnei Yisocher, the month before ELUL is called AV, because AV is the acronym for ELUL BA, which means, ready or not, ELUL is coming! Therefore, in this month of AV we already must begin to focus on the Teshuvah Process. So here goes. The Zohar explains that the word TESHUVA is a compound of the words, TASHUV HEI, "returning the HEI". The HEI that the...
Published: July 18, 2018
 Where Have You Gone Aaron haKohen?  .: Viewed: 253 times :.
To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel’s great song, “Where have you gone Aaron haKohen, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you!” Why is Aaron haKohen's Yahrzeit the only one mentioned in the Torah? None of the Avot or the Imahot were accorded such an honor and not even Moshe Rabbenu. Only the date of the death of Aaron is mentioned. Why? Aaron's Yahrtzeit is the first day...
Published: July 13, 2018
 Tisha B’Av during the 2nd Temple - Were We BI-POLAR?  .: Viewed: 322 times :.
This year, because Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat, we will be Feasting instead of Fasting. The Tisha B’Av Fast is pushed off until Sunday. What about Tisha B’Av during the Second Temple Period? Did the Jewish People fast during those 420 years that the Second Temple stood? The Prophet Zecharia, who lived at the beginning of the Second Temple Period, states (Ch. 8) that all of...
Published: July 5, 2018
 Why the FAST will Become a FEAST  .: Viewed: 382 times :.
Zechariah 8:19 states, “Thus speaks Hashem of Hosts, the fast of the fourth month [Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz] and the fast of the fifth month [Tish’ah B’Av] and the fast of the seventh month [Tzom Gedaliah] and the fast of the tenth month [Asarah B’ Teves] will one day turn into days of joy and celebration for the House of Yehudah, provided that the people will...
Published: June 29, 2018
 The Formula for Success in Life  .: Viewed: 281 times :.
There's a strange verse in Bamidbar 21:27, "Therefore the MOSHLIM (poets) would say,' Come to Cheshbon; let it be rebuilt and established as the city of Sichon.' " The Ramban explains that this poem is quoted as proof that Cheshbon had become a city of Sichon. After Sichon's victory, let Chesbon be rebuilt as the capital city of Sichon after it was destroyed in battle. This event took...
Published: June 21, 2018
 Anger - Hell on earth  .: Viewed: 343 times :.
King David states in Tehillim 30, “G-d, You have raised up my soul from SHEOL”. Radak translates the word SHEOL as “hell”. But King David was still alive when he said this verse. So how could he speak as if he had already descended to hell which is a place of punishment for sinners only after death? From this statement we learn that one can suffer in purgatory even...
Published: June 12, 2018
 Moshe’s Failure in the Korach Revolt  .: Viewed: 372 times :.
Moshe says to Korach, "It is too much for you (RAV), you sons of Levi" (Bamidbar 16:7). The Talmud in Sota 13 states, "With the word RAV (too much), Moshe rebuked Korach and the other Levites. Therefore, with the word RAV (too much), G-D rebuked Moshe that he would not enter Eretz Yisrael" (Devarim 3:26). Rashi explains that Moshe was held accountable for the improper way he spoke to Korach...
Published: June 7, 2018
 TEAM ISRAEL vs. The Giants  .: Viewed: 391 times :.
Are we able to defeat the Giants? The Torah tells us that the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael were y’lide ho’anaq, remnants of a race of Giants. When the Meraglim returned with their report, they announced: “The people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified and very great, moreover, we saw the children of Giants there.” (Bamidbar 13:28) And...
Published: May 30, 2018
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