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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 Doing a Mitzvah at the Zoo  .: Viewed: 1346 times :.
When I study Parshat Noach, I try to imagine all of the exotic creatures that G-d created. Therefore, some of my students and I visited the wonderful and exotic Ramat Gan Safari Zoo. Can one do a Mitzvah at the zoo? A visit to the zoo is a chance to experience the wonders of G-d's creation and acknowledge that opportunity with the appropriate blessing. The Mishnah in Avot 2 states, "Let all...
Published: October 4, 2018
 Egyptian Slavery – Basic Training for Sovereignty  .: Viewed: 2272 times :.
Before G-d chose us as a nation that would receive the Torah and Eretz Yisrael, and fulfill the eternal role of being a light unto the nations, first we had to be oppressed and enslaved in Egypt. Why? During "the Brit bein Habetarim" (the Covenant between the Parts), G-d promised Avraham that he would be the father of a great nation that would carry an eternal message for the entire world....
Published: March 19, 2014
 Election Fever – How to Stop the Slander and Hatred  .: Viewed: 2265 times :.
Many people in Israel are now afflicted with Election Fever. This "malady"" causes people who support different political parties to verbally attack each other. This is classic Lashon Hara V' Sinat Chinom. How can we avoid falling into the vicious cycle? The Chofetz Chaim offers a profound explanation of the root of Sinat Chinom and Lashon Hara. The catalyst of discord is the focus on...
Published: January 12, 2013
 Eliyahu HaNavi-A Peace Activist?   .: Viewed: 1529 times :.
In the special Haftorah for Shabbat HaGadol, we are told, that Eliyahu's task is to "turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents" (Malachi 3). Rashi explains that the "parents" in this verse refers to G-D, and the "children" to the Jewish People. Eliyahu is appointed to restore our relationship with G-D. He will be the ultimate outreach...
Published: March 28, 2017
 Elul - Come Blow Your Horn!  .: Viewed: 1451 times :.
Why do we blow Shofar during the month of Elul? Is it just to give the Bal Tokah (the Shofar Blower) a chance to warm up and practice for Rosh Hashana? Rosh Hashana is a time to step back and regain our lost vision. The call of the Shofar is how we do it. The Rambam states that the message of the Shofar is to “Awaken those who are asleep.” The Rambam’s analogy to sleep...
Published: August 21, 2019
 Elul - Give Me Shelter  .: Viewed: 1203 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
 ELUL – Our Great Spiritual Adventure  .: Viewed: 1744 times :.
Judaism’s great spiritual adventure begins in the month of Elul. In many ways Elul is the most profound spiritual re-JEWvenation, a time of introspection, of self-judgement, and spiritual improvement. We spend this month preparing for Judgement Day. It is a time to contemplate the greatest themes of existence, the meaning of our lives, free will, and the celebration of living...
Published: August 17, 2017
 Escorting Guests: A Greater Mitzvah than a Sumptuous Meal  .: Viewed: 5356 times :.
The Talmud states (Shabbos 127a) that receiving and hosting guests is greater than greeting G-d. We learn this from Genesis 18:3, “Avraham said, ‘My L-rd, if I have found favor in Your eyes, please do not leave your servant’.” Avraham asked G-d to wait while he attends to his guests.   The Mitzvah of Hachnosas Orchim (receiving and hosting guests) consists of three...
Published: November 1, 2011
 Esther VS The Sages!  .: Viewed: 1992 times :.
When Esther sent the Sages her request, "Write my story for future generations", they responded, "Forget it, you are arousing jealousy between us and the nations" (Talmud Megilla 6). The Sages response is puzzling. Since when do we censor TANACH because of what the UN and the EU will say? As the Torah states, "What nation is so great that they have such righteous rules and laws?" (Devarim...
Published: March 14, 2016
 Esther: A Tikkun for Yosef and His Brothers!  .: Viewed: 3667 times :.
After Esther, a descendant of Binyamin, the son of Rochel Imenu, had saved herself and her family from Haman's decree of extermination, she returned to Achashveros, to plead that all of the Jews (Yehudim) be saved and protected from Haman's evil decree. While at this point in the Megillah (Ch. 8) Esther and her Binayminite clan are safe, she nevertheless risked her life again for the sake of...
Published: February 25, 2014
 Esther: The Virtual Kohen Gadol?  .: Viewed: 1901 times :.
Megillat Esther-The Scroll of Esther, also means to reveal and uncover the hidden miracles and mysteries of Purim. That is why we wear masks on Purim, to demonstrate that things are not always as they appear to be. That's also why G-D's name does not appear at all in the entire Megilla. In fact, it is the only one of the 24 books of TANACH without G-D's name. Our goal is to reveal G-D to the...
Published: March 15, 2016
 Esther's Debate with the Rabbis  .: Viewed: 4591 times :.
When Esther sent the sages her request, "Write my story for future generations" (Megilla 6a), they responded, "You are arousing jealousy between us and the nations". Seemingly, their response is puzzling. Since when do we censor Scripture because of what the nations will say ? The Rambam in Igeret Teiman asks a similar question: "What nation is so great that they have such righteous rules...
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
 Experiencing the Wonders of Creation!  .: Viewed: 2136 times :.
When I study Parshat Bereshit, I try to imagine all of the exotic creatures that G-d created. Thus I took my grandchildren to the wonderful Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem. Can one do a Mitzvah at the Zoo? A visit to the Zoo is a chance to experience the wonders of G-d's creation and acknowledge that opportunity with the appropriate blessing. The Mishnah in Avot 2 states, "Let all of your deeds...
Published: September 3, 2013
 Fearsome Days or Happy Days?  .: Viewed: 1497 times :.
There was a TV program called HAPPY DAYS. Is Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Happy Days or Fearsome Days? The Mishna in Tanit states that our most joyous and most happy Yom Tov is Yom Kippur. But Yom Kippur is the final seal of Judgement Day! So which is it? These days are called YAMIM NORAIM. In English it’s translated as DAYS OF AWE. Where does the word NORAIM come from? The first time...
Published: September 6, 2017
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