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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 Why Celebrate Judgement?  .: Viewed: 259 times :.
Rosh HaShana is a puzzling Yom Tov for us. On the one hand, we are facing an awesome judgment; on the other hand, we celebrate the day as a joyous holiday. One can hardly imagine someone facing a life and death judgment enjoying himself on that very day. Yet, the Halacha states that we must celebrate on Rosh HaShana by feasting on meat and wine. What is even stranger, we not only celebrate...
Published: September 1, 2017
 The Shofar - A Call to Action  .: Viewed: 254 times :.
On Rosh Hashana, when the Shofar is sounded, there is a pattern which repeats itself many times throughout the service. There is a straight blast (TEKIAH) followed by a broken blast (SHEVARIM TERUAH) followed by another straight blast (TEKIAH). Rabbi S.R. Hirsch explains that in the same way that the trumpets in the Desert (MIDBAR) were a call to Am Yisroel to journey forth, so too is the...
Published: August 23, 2017
 ELUL – Our Great Spiritual Adventure  .: Viewed: 288 times :.
Judaism’s great spiritual adventure begins in the month of Elul. In many ways Elul is the most profound spiritual re-JEWvenation, a time of introspection, of self-judgement, and spiritual improvement. We spend this month preparing for Judgement Day. It is a time to contemplate the greatest themes of existence, the meaning of our lives, free will, and the celebration of living...
Published: August 17, 2017
 The Torah is NOT P.C.  .: Viewed: 272 times :.
On Thursday, August 3rd the City of Jerusalem will host a Gay Pride Parade. As a result, some Torah Classes at the OU Israel Center will be cancelled. This is Bitul Torah big time. There is a verse in Devarim 28, “G-d will strike you with madness.” This verse in the Torah is being fully and completely observed by our Politically Correct Leaders. The Municipality of Jerusalem...
Published: August 7, 2017
 How G-d’s Children Should React to Grief  .: Viewed: 279 times :.
“You are Children to your G-d, thus you shall not cut yourselves as a sign of mourning for the dead.” (Devarim: 14:1). Being G-d's Chosen People, His unique treasure in this world, carries with it awesome responsibilities. Since G-d calls us His Children, we are commanded to exercise constraint when mourning for the passing of a loved one. The pagans mutilated their bodies as an...
Published: August 6, 2017
 Arab Terror – Is There Any Hope?  .: Viewed: 326 times :.
Once again, we are engulfed in a wave of brutal and savage Arab Terror. Is there any consolation? The Talmud in Sanhedrin states that before the arrival of Mashiach, we will experience a period of pain and suffering called the CHEVLEI Mashiach. Literally, this means the birth pangs of Mashiach. It is an interesting choice of words. We understand that the prelude to Mashiach will be painful,...
Published: July 26, 2017
 Why Do We Cry?  .: Viewed: 288 times :.
We have all cried – sometimes from joy, more often from sorrow. Why do we express both opposite emotions in the exact same way? Why is G-d, usually so generous with the wondrous resources with which He has endowed us, so restricting in this respect? Was there not some way to differentiate more clearly between joy and sorrow? On a physiological level, the encyclopedia informs us,...
Published: July 19, 2017
 Why Mourn for a Temple We Never Saw?  .: Viewed: 271 times :.
On Tisha B'Av we mourn for the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples. The Talmud in Trachtate Taanit (Page 30) states that all Mitzvot that apply to a mourner during the Shiva also apply to the entire Jewish people on Tisha B'Av. In other words, according to Halacha we are all sitting Shiva on Tisha B'Av. But, how can this be? For the Halacha states that if a close relative has...
Published: July 13, 2017
 How to Cure MACHLOKET  .: Viewed: 290 times :.
Many American Jewish Groups are now embroiled in a bitter dispute with the Prime Minister and the Government of Israel. We are witness to shocking displays of Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred). Our progressive Jewish brethren in the U.S.A. must realize that the Torah’s principles are eternal, even while science, medicine, and technology evolve and progress. How can we rid ourselves of...
Published: July 6, 2017
 Relieving The Agony of the Agunah  .: Viewed: 351 times :.
The plight of the Agunah wife is an ongoing tragedy. Recently, a woman who has been an Agunah for 17 years went on a hunger strike in Jerusalem. An Agunah (literally a chained wife) is one whose husband deserts her and refuses to give her a GET, thus preventing her from remarrying. The leading Rabbis in every generation have tried to find solutions, even far-fetched ones, for the distress of...
Published: June 28, 2017
 INGRATITUDE – The Source of all Sins  .: Viewed: 386 times :.
R’ Bachye and the Sefer Hahinuch both state that expressing appreciation and gratitude (Hakarat Hatov) is the essence and foundation of Judaism, and ingratitude is the source of all sins. In fact, the Midrash in Vayikra Rabba 9 states, "Derech Eretz kadma laTorah", which means, "Courtesy, decency, and concern for others precede the Torah." Thus, how do we explain the death threats sent...
Published: June 23, 2017
 The heros of the Korach Mutiny  .: Viewed: 373 times :.
The heros of the Korach Rebellion were Korach’s sons and Mrs. ON Ben Pelet. Let us learn about their acts of heroism. The Torah states, “And Korach separated himself with Datan and Aviram… and ON Ben Pelet…” (Bamidbar 16:1). In his revolt against the authority of Moshe and Aharon, Korach was supported by Datan and Aviram and by ON Ben. Pelet. This opening...
Published: June 14, 2017
 TZITZIT - A Tikun For the Sin of the Spies  .: Viewed: 378 times :.
Parshat Shlach begins with the Sin of the Spies and ends with the Mitzva of TZITIT. Is there a link between the two? To answer this question we must ask another. What was the sin of the Spies?  It cannot be that the sin was the very fact that they were sent.  On the contrary,  we find the use of spies against the enemy camp in many places.  For example, it says,...
Published: June 9, 2017
 The Eternal Message of the MANN  .: Viewed: 319 times :.
“And now, our life is dried up, there is nothing, we have nothing but the MANN” (Bamidbar 11). Rashi states that G-d remarked, “Look at what my children complain about, the wonderful and delicious MANN”. My Rebbe, Rav Pam says that G-d’s comment continues to reverberate to this very day – “Look what my children complain about”. Rav Pam...
Published: June 4, 2017
 Love your friend as yourself?  .: Viewed: 314 times :.
This verse is one of the most mistranslated verses in the Torah. Can the Torah command something which is not humanly possible? Unlike other religions, that have fancy slogans not meant for the real world, Judaism is based on realty. Thus, Rav Soloveitchik explains that this is not what the Hebrew verse actually says. It is all about knowing where to place the comas. For example, I had a...
Published: May 5, 2017
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