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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 We All Shine On  .: Viewed: 744 times :.
“Behold, You (Israel) are today like the stars of Heaven in abundance.” (Devarim 1:10) The Torah compares the Jewish People to the stars in the heavens. But there is another verse in Devarim 7 which seems to contradict this verse. There the Torah states “For You (Israel) are the fewest and the least of ALL Nations.” Rashi on Devarim 1:10 deals with this problem. He...
Published: August 7, 2019
 Serving God in Joy Despite CORONA  .: Viewed: 735 times :.
King David tells us in Tehillim 100, "Serve G-d with Joy." How is it possible when we are surrounded by a deadly invisible enemy called CORONA? Rambam provides the solution - the Fear of G d. When someone fears G d, he serves Him in joy. As it says, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright of heart." (Tehillim 97:11) A person derives happiness from serving G d. Yet,...
Published: April 12, 2020
 PESACH - Cycling Thru Time  .: Viewed: 731 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
 Chanuka - Teach Your Children Well  .: Viewed: 721 times :.
Crosby Stills and Nash had a number one hit song called “Teach Your Children Well.” Were they singing about the Festival of Chanuka? Because the Talmud Shabbat 23 states, “One who is careful about Chanuka lights will have children who are Torah scholars.” Rashi explains this enigmatic passage referring to the verse in Mishlei 6 which states, “A candle is a Mitzva...
Published: December 9, 2019
 The Light of My Life  .: Viewed: 718 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
 Rabbi Akiva’s Seder - Coping With Corona  .: Viewed: 716 times :.
Can Rabbi Akiva’s Seder of almost 2,000 years ago help us to cope with Coronavirus in the year 2020? The Pesach Haggada states, that five Sages, Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues, were telling of the Exodus from Egypt all night at the Seder, until their disciples came and said to them, "Our Rabbis, the time for the recital of the morning Shema has arrived." The Seder is all about both...
Published: March 29, 2020
 Pharaoh - The Classic Villain  .: Viewed: 705 times :.
Pharaoh seems to be one of the main characters in the Torah. There is a Pharaoh in Avraham’s time, then there’s the Pharaoh in Yosef’s time and of course, the Pharaoh in Moshe’s time. Why does the Torah give so much prominent attention to the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt? We know the Torah is G‑d’s GPS (G‑d’s Personal System) for the here and now. Moshe says...
Published: January 21, 2020
 Elul - Give Me Shelter  .: Viewed: 703 times :.
“You shall separate 3 cities for yourself in your land, which Hashem your G-d, is giving you to inherit.” (Devarim 19:2) The Torah commands us here to designate cities of refuge and shelter. These refuge cities are for the person who commits an accidental murder, where he would run, to receive protection from the GOAL HADAM (The redeemer of blood). These cities of refuge are...
Published: September 1, 2019
 Our Spiritual DNA  .: Viewed: 693 times :.
After the Jewish People sinned with the Moabite and Midianite women, as a punishment, G-d caused a plague that killed 24,000 Jews. G-d then commanded Moshe to take a new census of the people. Rashi notes that each family name of the 12 tribes has a prefix of the letter HEI and a suffix of the letter YUD. Rashi explains the reason for this is that G-d testifies through His Name the YUD and...
Published: July 19, 2019
 Moshe’s Shiny Face  .: Viewed: 684 times :.
After his third forty day stay on Mount Sinai, Moshe descended on the 10th of Tishrei – Yom Kippur carrying the second set of the Holy Tablets. These replaced the First Tablets that Moshe broke when he saw the Jews worshipping the Golden Calf. Moshe’s extended stay on Mount Sinai in G‑d’s presence left a permanent impression on his body – his face radiated G‑d’s...
Published: February 25, 2020
 Do Curses Really Work?  .: Viewed: 679 times :.
Balak, King of Moav, called on Bilam to curse the Nation of Israel. Bilam responded that he must wait for G‑d’s instructions. After Bilam was told by G‑d not to curse Israel, “For it is blessed”, Bilam says (Bamidbar 23:8) “How can I curse whom G‑d has not cursed”, and thereby got Balak very angry. It seems that Bilam realized that cursing has no real physical...
Published: June 28, 2020
 Yom Kippur - The YICHUD of God and Israel  .: Viewed: 675 times :.
“For on this day, He shall grant Atonement for you, to purify you, from all of your sins shall you be pure before G‑d.” (Vayikra 16:30) Jay and the Americans had a hit song in the 60’s called “Let’s Lock the Door.” Jay attended Yeshiva Torat Emet in Boro Park. Was he singing about the NEILA (lock the gate) Prayer on Yom Kippur? The Hebrew word for the...
Published: April 21, 2020
 Twin Torahs  .: Viewed: 667 times :.
“In the third month after the Exodus from Egypt, the Children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sinai.” (Shemot 19:1) Rashi explains that Israel arrived at the Wilderness of Sinai on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 6 days before we received the Torah there. According to the Talmud in Shabbat, the month of Sivan is represented by תאומים which means TWINS. Why did G‑d choose to give us the...
Published: February 3, 2020
 Yaakov’s 70 Nation Builders  .: Viewed: 665 times :.
“The total number of souls of Yaakov’s household who came to Egypt was 70 persons.” (Bereshis 46:27) The Prophet Isaiah states that the mission of the Jewish People is to be a light to the 70 nations of the world. By descending into the Egyptian exile, the nucleus of the Jewish People (Yaakov and his family) began the process of elevating and transforming the 70 nations of...
Published: December 26, 2019
 Matan Torah - Unity, NOT Uniformity!  .: Viewed: 665 times :.
When G d gave us the Torah on Shavuot, "the Jewish People all responded with a single voice’, We will keep every word that G d has spoken'" (Shemot 24:3). Was this one-time phenomenon, in which every Jew was identical to every other in his conduct and thought, an ideal situation? Alternatively, might it not be that beyond every Jew's obligation to fulfill the 613 Mitzvot and to believe...
Published: May 5, 2020
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