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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 Can Evolution and the Torah's Account of Creation Coexist?  .: Viewed: 3063 times :.
There are remarkable similarities between the account of the creation as given in Breishit and the theory of evolution. First, light was created, then the firmament, followed by sea, land and vegetation. The creation of the heavenly bodies was followed by fish and birds, and then by land animals. Only finally, as the culmination of G-d's work, was man created. Indeed, the Torah's description...
Published: May 24, 2011
 How to Transform the Fast into a Feast  .: Viewed: 3044 times :.
Four days a year Jews fast and mourn, commemorating different historical events of the destruction of the Holy Temple. The 17 th day of Tammuz is one of the four days, and it begins a three week period of limited mourning that climaxes with Tisha B'Av, the day of the destruction of the Temple. These four days of fasting are found in the prophet Zechariah. Consistent with Judaism's optimism,...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Esther's Purim Role VS. the High Priest on Yom Kippur  .: Viewed: 3030 times :.
Purim comes from the word "Pur", meaning lottery in Persian. This name comes from Megillat Esther: "...therefore, they called these days Purim, because of the lottery." The method in which Purim was given this name is different from the methods used in giving names to the other holidays. The names of all other holidays incorporate, in some respect, the miracle which took place on that holiday....
Published: February 28, 2007
 An Educational Magic Moment Lost  .: Viewed: 3012 times :.
The recent prayer rally in Jerusalem was one of the largest gatherings of Jews praying since the Mount Sinai revelation where over 600,000 Jews came together in prayer and supplication. There was even a special blessing recited for a gathering of 600,000 Jews. This was a golden opportunity for the Chareidi public to communicate directly with their secular brethren, allay their fears, and...
Published: March 10, 2014
 Is Hamas the Present-Day Amalek?  .: Viewed: 3000 times :.
Over 6000 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel since the Gaza withdrawal and the expulsion of almost 10,000 Jews from their homes in the summer of 2005. This is including hundreds of missiles that were launched at Israel while the supposed truce between Hamas and Israel was in effect. Actually, it was a one-sided cease-fire. While we ceased, they continued to fire. Why does...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Will Moshiach Reveal a New Torah?  .: Viewed: 2989 times :.
"And Moshe took his wife and sons and mounted them on the donkey."(Ex. 4:20) Rashi makes the cryptic comment;" the donkey that Moshiach will utilize to usher in the Final Redemption. How do we understand this strange comment of Rashi? Can a donkey live for thousands of years? The explanation is that when G-d appointed Moshe to be the Redeemer of Israel, He set those cosmic forces in motion...
Published: May 24, 2011
 SarahÂ’s Tent: The Original Mishkan  .: Viewed: 2989 times :.
Sarah was the classic Jewish mother and one of the seven prophetesses quoted in Scripture. Her home was no ordinary tent. It had extraordinary qualities: a cloud of holiness, doors which symbolically proclaimed their openness to all passersby, a blessing in her dough, a Sabbath lamp that remained lit all week long. These miracles were not Abraham’s doing; they all ceased with...
Published: November 10, 2011
 The Burning Bush: Symbol of Jewish Suffering and Survival  .: Viewed: 2982 times :.
Why did G-d first reveal himself to Moshe in a burning thorn bush? The Midrash saw this as evoking a broad range of symbolic themes and prophetic visions for the future destiny of the Jewish People. Rabbeinu Bachya regards the burning bush as a revelation that our nation, despite its hardships, is eternal. "The burning bush conjures up the image of a lowly nation in iron chains, constantly...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Avraham's Legacy: Escorting Guests?  .: Viewed: 2979 times :.
"Avraham walked with them to escort them" (Genesis 18:16) The Rambam writes ( Hilchos Aveil 14:1), "There is a mitzvah enacted by the Sages to visit the sick, to comfort the bereaved, to conduct a funeral for the dead, to marry off a bride and to escort guests as they are leaving." The Rambam gives us a short list of five mitzvos that we are required to do for other people. If you would...
Published: May 24, 2011
 The Educational Message of the Ten Plagues  .: Viewed: 2969 times :.
We are all aware from the Haggadah of Pesach of R’ Yehudah’s having abrreviated the ten plagues as דצ '' ך ( Detzach), עד '' ש ( Adash), באח '' ב (Be’achav).  However, what’s his point?  Abarbanel finds a surprising distinction between these three groups that emerge and therefore attributes a...
Published: March 28, 2007
 The Four Sons: Four Blessings  .: Viewed: 2968 times :.
כנגד אבעה בנים דברה תורה (הגדה של פסח) The four sons occupy a key place in the Haggadah. The author states their questions and then spells out the answers, both of which are based on Biblical texts. The Torah is realistic;...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Tisha Bav During The Second Temple: Feast or Fast?  .: Viewed: 2962 times :.
The prophet Zechariah, who lived towards the end of the Babylonians exile after the destruction of the first Temple, says in chapter 8, that G-d tells him that all the feast commemorating the destruction of the Temple shall become to the house of Judah days of joy, gladness and holidays. The Tamud explains this passage that all these fast days will become feast days when the Messiah comes....
Published: May 24, 2011
 Yom Kippur: A Taste of Eternity  .: Viewed: 2948 times :.
Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the Jewish year and it is also the strangest day, because it seems to negate all that makes us human. For this one day we step out of ourselves and become something else, something other wordly. We are no longer part of this world as we know it. Denying our bodies food, drink, sex and any possible physical pleasure, we act as if the normal impulses that...
Published: September 4, 2011
 The Dual Role of Tears  .: Viewed: 2948 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: June 24, 2012
 Jerusalem: What's in a Name?  .: Viewed: 2946 times :.
Names play a significant role in Judaism. In the Torah, the name of almost every person comes with an explanation or reason for the name. The name Adam is derived from the Hebrew word, "adama" (earth), to remind us of our humble roots and beginnings. Avraham, will become the "Av" (father), of many nations. The name Yitzchak, is a reminder of his parents Tzchok (laughter), upon hearing the...
Published: April 22, 2013
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