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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 TZITZIT - Buy One, Get 613  .: Viewed: 334 times :.
“When You see the TZITZIT, you will remember all the Mitzvot of G-d, in order to perform them” (Bamidbar 15:39). Rashi comments on this verse that the GEMATRIA of the word TZITZIT equals 600, and eight strings of the TZITZIT and five knots, all together equaling 613, corresponding to the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah. But why do we need the garment to which the TZITZIT are attached?...
Published: June 14, 2019
 The Light of My Life  .: Viewed: 286 times :.
“By the mouth of G-d they encamped, and by the mouth of G-d they traveled” (Bamidbar 9:23). The Jewish People never knew in advance how long they would be staying at an encampment in the wilderness. It could have been for a day or for even years. Nonetheless, we would set up the Mishkan at each encampment, following G-d’s instructions to keep the Mishkan functioning at all...
Published: June 4, 2019
 I Did It My Way!  .: Viewed: 357 times :.
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...
Published: May 29, 2019
 Ruth - Transforming Vice to Virtue  .: Viewed: 329 times :.
How can we understand the fact that our Mashiach, King David, descends from sullied and problematic lineage? His paternal ancestors, including his great grandfather Boaz, were the result of an act of incest between Yehuda and his daughter-in-law Tamar. She deceived Yehuda by posing as a harlot in order to have his child. Yet Yehuda is the father of the tribe from whom the Mashiach will emerge...
Published: May 21, 2019
 Making Each Day Count!  .: Viewed: 324 times :.
Sefirat Ha'Omer commands us to make time count. We count each day, to make every day count. My friend and mentor, Rav Chaim Wilschanski SHLITA explains in his book that the word SFIRA (to count) is related to the word SAPIR (Sapphire). Each day should be cherished, treasured and unwrapped like a precious sapphire. The counting of the Omer links the physical freedom of Pesach to the...
Published: May 6, 2019
 PESACH - Cycling Thru Time  .: Viewed: 346 times :.
My great-great grandfather, the Bnei Yissaschar, points out the while there are many miracles recorded in TANACH, we do not commemorate or celebrate them all. Thus, we do not commemorate Yehoshua's stopping the sun, or his splitting of the Jordan River, 40 years after Moshe split the Red Sea. On the other hand, we commemorate the miracles of Pesach, Succot, Shavuot, and also Chanuka and Purim,...
Published: April 8, 2019
 Smart Phone Slavery!  .: Viewed: 362 times :.
When Moshe is sent by G-d to inform the Jewish People that their redemption from slavery is near, he discovers that they have no time or patience for him. "And they did not listen to Moshe because of shortness of breath and hard and difficult work." (Shmot 6:9) Pharaoh understood the dynamics of freedom and so he succeeded in creating the ultimate crushing slavery. Someone forced to work...
Published: April 3, 2019
 The Goal of the Exodus - Don’t Slander!  .: Viewed: 427 times :.
"You shall not defile yourselves through any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am G-d who elevates you from the Land of Egypt." (Vayikra 11:44,45) What is the connection between the Exodus from Egypt and the prohibition of eating insects? Why does the Torah juxtapose these two subjects? HaRav Mordechai HaCohen in his sefer, Al HaTorah, gives a profound explanation. Certain...
Published: March 26, 2019
 G-D’s Kiss of Death  .: Viewed: 354 times :.
"And Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, took both of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense, and offered strange fire before Hashem, which He did not command them. And there went out fire from Hashem, and devoured them, and they died before Hashem." (Vayikra 10:1-2). Many Torah commentators have pondered why Nadav and Avihu died. Was the "strange fire" sufficient cause for...
Published: March 18, 2019
 PURIM - The Endless Miracle!  .: Viewed: 348 times :.
On Purim, as on Chanukah, we recite Al Hanisim. In this thanksgiving prayer, the stories of the miracles of both Festivals are related in a short and concise synopsis. However, there is an obvious difference. In the Al Hanisim of Chanukah there is a finale, "Afterwards your sons came to Your House, they cleansed Your Sanctuary, purified Your Place of Holiness and lit lights in Your Holy...
Published: March 12, 2019
 Haman’s Anger Management  .: Viewed: 440 times :.
Of all the abilities that human beings possess, perhaps none is as mysterious as our talent for compartmentalization. Each of us is multiple people, and different ones emerge in different circumstances and relationships. If we can never fully know somebody, it's not simply because his exterior does not match his interior. It's because we have so many chambers inside, and some are more...
Published: March 6, 2019
 PURIM - Thanking G-d for Our Struggles  .: Viewed: 393 times :.
This week was Purim Katan, thus a Purim article is appropriate. During the festival of Purim we recite the Al Hanisim prayer. The prayer reads, "and for the miracles and for the salvations and for the mighty deeds and for the victories and for the wonders and for the consolations and for the BATTLES which You performed for our ancestors in those days, at this time." In this declaration...
Published: February 19, 2019
 Can You Take It With You?  .: Viewed: 404 times :.
Is there a way to take it with you? Jack Benny famously said, “If I can’t take it with me, I’m not going.” But as we all know, he went anyway. The Torah states in Parshat Terumah, “Speak to the children of Israel and have them TAKE to Me a contribution.” (Shemot 25:2) Why does the verse state “TAKE to Me” rather than “Give to...
Published: January 30, 2019
 STEP - BY - STEP  .: Viewed: 440 times :.
“You shall not ascend My Alter on steps.” (Shemot 20:23) Why does the Torah prohibit climbing up to the Alter on steps? Rashi explains that the Torah commands here to build a ramp for the Alter and the ramp must be smooth and inclining without steps. Had there been steps leading up to the Alter, the Kohen would have to raise his legs as he mounted the steps. This would be a...
Published: January 23, 2019
 Why Name Parshat Matan Torah after a GER?  .: Viewed: 452 times :.
Yitro, Moshe's father-in-law, is the name of the Parsha in which we read the account of the most important event in Jewish and World history, the Giving of the Torah. It is remarkable that this Parsha has as its title, the name of someone who was not even born a Jew. Yitro was a pagan idol worshipper, but only later in life abandoned his paganism and recognized the One True G-d. Why was...
Published: January 18, 2019
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