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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 The Heroine of the Korach Mutiny  .: Viewed: 2477 times :.
In his revolt against the authority of Moses and Aaron, Korach was supported by Dathan and Abiram and by On, the son of Peleth.  The opening verse of this sidra is the only place where On ben Peleth is mentioned; and his name does not occur in the more detailed narrative that follows.  Noting the absence of the name from the subsequent account, the Talmud states, that On, the son of Peleth,...
Published: June 20, 2011
 Will Moshiach Reveal a New Torah?  .: Viewed: 2470 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
 Aaron HaCohen's Yahrtzeit – The Only One in the Torah!  .: Viewed: 2460 times :.
Why is Aaron HaCohen's Yahrtzeit 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 of the month of Av, and the Jewish calendar is structured so that Parshat Masei which records Aaron's death is read before Tisha B'Av. Why? The...
Published: June 22, 2015
 SarahÂ’s Tent: The Original Mishkan  .: Viewed: 2442 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
 Avraham's Legacy: Escorting Guests?  .: Viewed: 2430 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 Dual Role of Tears  .: Viewed: 2418 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
 The Burning Bush: Symbol of Jewish Suffering and Survival  .: Viewed: 2415 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
 The Educational Message of the Ten Plagues  .: Viewed: 2413 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
 Jerusalem: What's in a Name?  .: Viewed: 2404 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
 Yom Kippur: A Taste of Eternity  .: Viewed: 2400 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
 How to Transform the Fast into a Feast  .: Viewed: 2387 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
 Nadav & Avihu - The Divine Kiss of Death  .: Viewed: 2384 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: April 17, 2012
 Is Hamas the Present-Day Amalek?  .: Viewed: 2378 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
 Yom KippurÂ’s Mysterious Scapegoat: SatanÂ’s Bribe?  .: Viewed: 2375 times :.
What is the meaning and purpose of the strange ceremony of the scapegoat which involves pushing a goat off a cliff on Yom Kippur?  Ramban explains according to the Kabbalah that it is a symbolic pay-off or bribe to the Satan to prevent him from prosecuting Israel on Yom Kippur. That’s why the ceremony of the scapegoat is done through a lottery which is determined and controlled by G-d....
Published: May 24, 2011
 Chanuka: Festival of Education  .: Viewed: 2358 times :.
There is an interesting Talmudic passage in Tractate Shabbat: 23: "One who is careful about the Chanuka lights will have children who are talmidei Chakhamim (scholars)." Rashi explains this enigmatic passage by referring to the verse in Proverbs 6 which says: "a candle is a mitzvah and the Torah is light."On the basis of the mitzvah of the candles of the Sabbath and Chanuka, the light of Torah...
Published: December 6, 2011
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