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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 Tisha Bav During The Second Temple: Feast or Fast?  .: Viewed: 2380 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
 The Menora – Symbol of the 7 Branches of Science  .: Viewed: 2380 times :.
The Torah commands Aharon, the High Priest, "When you light the lamps, towards the center of the Menora shall the seven lamps cast light." (Bamidbar 8:2) According to the Maharal and Rabbi Yonatan Eybishuts, the seven branches of the Menora represent the seven pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge and science. The Rambam in Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah Ch. 2 states that when you study nature and the...
Published: May 28, 2014
 The Danger of False Piety (A Wolf in SheepÂ’s Clothing)  .: Viewed: 2379 times :.
To our sorrow, these past few months we have witnessed painful divisions and shocking hatred within Israeli society. What is particularly tragic is what triggered these divisions and animosities. It was the criminal actions of a small group of hooligans. The fact that they were dressed in Charedi garb should not deceive us. Their acts of verbal abuse and other degrading behavior constitute a...
Published: February 1, 2012
 The Four Sons: Four Blessings  .: Viewed: 2378 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
 What is Kabala?  .: Viewed: 2372 times :.
The Ramban in his introduction to his Torah commentary says that every field of knowledge – whether it be science, agriculture, medicine of palmistry – can be learned from the Torah. The Torah given to Moshe at Mount Sinai consists of the Written Law (the Five Books of Moses) and the four levels of the Oral Law (some of which was recorded in the Talmud): Peshat – the...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Tisha BÂ’Av: Observing Shiva Now for Ancient Tragedies?  .: Viewed: 2366 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 18, 2012
 An Educational Magic Moment Lost  .: Viewed: 2365 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
 The MishkanÂ’s Sacrificial Altar – Metaphor for the Human Being  .: Viewed: 2355 times :.
The main function of the Mishkan is to offer up animal sacrifices to G-d. For many people, it is easier to relate to narrative portions of the Torah or Mitzvot that apply in our day than to those dealing with Temple sacrifices. The last sacrifices were offered in 68 C.E., before the Second Temple was destroyed. Thus many people would find it hard to conceive how the sacrificial system could...
Published: March 14, 2012
 Purim: G-d's Jigsaw Puzzle  .: Viewed: 2352 times :.
Amazingly, G-d's Name does not appear in the Megillah – because precisely that is its lesson: G-d's ways are not always obvious. His miracles are most often not illuminated by lightning nor by thunder as by the Giving of the Torah. In the concisely written 167-verse Megillah, no seas split and no dry bones come to life. But in the truest sense, the greatest of all miracles is narrated in...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Rosh Hashanah's Mysterious Cover-Up  .: Viewed: 2314 times :.
Why is it that we Jews celebrate the New Year at the beginning of the seventh month? Jewish tradition actually recognizes four New Year days (Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 1:1), but only the first of Tishrei, the one we know as Rosh Hashanah, is a major holiday.   The mystery only increases when we remember that the Torah specifically identifies the month of Nisan, the month in which Passover falls,...
Published: September 20, 2006
 Flags of our Fathers  .: Viewed: 2305 times :.
Throughout their travels in the desert, the Israelites were commanded to set up their tents around tribal flags: "The Israelites shall encamp with each person near the banner carrying his paternal family's insignia. They shall encamp at a distance around the Ohel Moed (Bamidbar 2:2). What is the significance of these banners? The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabba 2:3) says that the inspiration for the...
Published: June 1, 2011
 Why Wine Plays a Central Role in Judaism  .: Viewed: 2279 times :.
Why is wine so essential to Judaism? To find the answer we must look into the Talmud. The Talmud discusses the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, wondering what type of fruit it was (B. Berachot 40a; B. Sanhedrin 70 a-b). Three opinions are presented. According to one opinion, the forbidden fruit was wheat. This suggestion is innovative since wheat stalks are not normally considered...
Published: May 24, 2011
 Tu B'Shvat: Why the Torah Compares a Human Being to a Tree  .: Viewed: 2279 times :.
The source for Tu B'Shvat is the opening Mishnah of the Talmudic Tractate Rosh Hashana: "The Academy of Hillel taught that the 15th of Shvat is the New Year for the Trees."  What does that mean, "New Year for the Trees?"  Tu B'Shvat is technically the day when trees stop absorbing water from the ground and instead draw nourishment from their sap. In Halacha, this means that fruit which has...
Published: January 31, 2007
 Did G-d pray when He gave us the Torah?  .: Viewed: 2269 times :.
At the giving of the Torah we find that G-d utters a prayer that we should always fear Him and observe His Mitzvot, for our own good (D'varim 5:26). The Talmud in B'rachot 7a, brings another verse to prove that G-d prays: "I will bring them to My holy mountain, and make them rejoice in the house of My prayer, [for My house is a house of prayer for all nations]" (Yeshayahu 56:7). The pasuk...
Published: May 24, 2011
 HaChodesh: The Mitzva to Re-JEW-venate  .: Viewed: 2265 times :.
Why was Rosh Chodesh the first mitzva given to Israel as a nation while still in Egypt? Why is Parshat HaChodesh so important that it precedes the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai? The Zohar, in explaining the importance of the new moon and our celebration of its renewal each month, states: "The Jewish nation is com- pared to the moon. Just as the moon wanes and seems to disappear into...
Published: May 24, 2011
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