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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 How Teshuva Re-JEW-vinates us  .: Viewed: 255 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: 198 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: 264 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: 318 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: 237 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: 294 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: 317 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: 330 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
 The Menora – Symbol of Israel  .: Viewed: 227 times :.
The Menora in the Mishkan was not just a candelabrum to provide light. G-d does not need our light, He is the Light of the Universe. The Menora symbolizes the Eternal Covenant between G-d and the Jewish People. Representing spiritual light, the Menora is a symbol of the unique mission of the Jewish People, as the Prophet Yeshayahu states, “We are to be a Light unto the nations”....
Published: May 27, 2018
 MY WAY!  .: Viewed: 316 times :.
In Parshat Naso, each tribal leader presents gifts and sacrificial offerings for the dedication of the Alter in the Mishkan. And although the offerings of the tribal chiefs were all identical, the Torah enumerates and repeats each one 12 times over. This is despite the fact that there is a general rule that the verses of the Torah are written with the upmost brevity. There are exactly 304,805...
Published: May 16, 2018
 Shavuot - What’s in a Name?  .: Viewed: 251 times :.
Why is the Yom Tov of Matan Torah called Shavuot? (Weeks) In Judaism, the name of the Yom Tov defines what took place on that particular Festival. For example, Passover commemorates G-d’s passing over the Jewish first born when He killed the Egyptian first born. On Sukkot (booths) we thank G-d for supplying us with both physical booths and the Clouds of Glory which surrounded us like...
Published: May 9, 2018
 Why was Matan Torah NOT in Jerusalem?  .: Viewed: 234 times :.
Yom Yerushalayim, which is actually first mentioned in Tehillim 137:7, is just a few days before Chag Matan Torah. So wouldn’t it have been appropriate for G-d to give us the Torah in His Holy City of Jerusalem, DC (David’s Capital). As Yeshayahu chapter 2 states, “The Torah shall go out from Zion and the Word of G-d from Jerusalem”. Thus, why did G-d give the Torah...
Published: May 3, 2018
 Israel at 70 - Rise for the flag  .: Viewed: 245 times :.
A very happy 70th birthday to the State of Israel and to Phil (Pinchas) Chernofsky. May G-d bless them both to continue with their incredible and miraculous work on behalf of the Jewish People. The Torah states in Parshat Kedoshim, “Rise in honor of the elderly” (Vayikra 19:32). The Mishna in Avot says that when a person reaches the age of 70 he is entitled for people to rise in...
Published: April 18, 2018
 SEFIRAT HAOMER - STEP BY STEP  .: Viewed: 233 times :.
Jonny Maestro and the Crests had a hit song in the late 50’s called STEP BY STEP. Were they singing about Sefirat HaOmer? Counting the Omer is all about a process, a gradual STEP BY STEP spiritual development. The Zohar in Parshat Yitro states, when we were in Egypt we defiled ourselves with all kinds of impurities, until we were mired under forty nine levels of impurity. Still, G-d...
Published: April 11, 2018
 How lashon hara leads to metzora   .: Viewed: 281 times :.
The Torah warns that one who speaks Lashon Hara will be afflicted with Tzoraat. In fact, the word METZORA is an acronym for Motzi Shem Ra, which means slanderous and evil speech. What is the Middah K'neged Middah here? We know that G-d always punishes measure for measure. The answer here is, a person who has Tzoraat may be 99% healthy. There may be only one small blotch of Tzoraat on his...
Published: March 24, 2018
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