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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 Do Curses Really Work?  .: Viewed: 280 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
 Holy Rebels  .: Viewed: 272 times :.
G‑d told Moshe to conduct a test that would demonstrate the error of Korach and his fellow rebels against Moshe. Offering up incense is part of the Mishkan service that was allowed to be performed only by the Kohanim and only at specific times. The Jewish People had previously witnessed how Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, had died on account of having offered up an unauthorized incense...
Published: June 9, 2020
 The Spies’ Tunnel Vision  .: Viewed: 222 times :.
Are we able to defeat the Giants? (Remember Willie Mays?) The Torah tells us that the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael were y’lide ho’anaq, remnants of a race of Giants. When the M’raglim, the Spies, returned with their report, they announced: “The people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified and very great; moreover, we saw the children of Giants...
Published: June 9, 2020
 The Menorah - Light Up My Life!  .: Viewed: 212 times :.
Parshat Beha’alotcha begins with the Mitzva for the Kohen to light the Menorah daily, in the Mishkan and later on in the Beit HaMikdash even on Shabbat. What is the message of the Menorah for us when we have no Mikdash? And we know that the Torah is G‑d’s GPS (G‑d’s Personal System) for us in the year 2020 and beyond. The Mishna (Avot Ch. 4) teaches, "There are three...
Published: June 9, 2020
 CORONA - The Mystery of God’s Justice  .: Viewed: 401 times :.
Why have so many righteous people died of Corona while many wicked people like Abu Mazen and his PLO henchmen are not affected at all. It’s the age old question that has haunted humanity since the dawn of time. In the Tanach and Talmud we find 2 very different approaches to the concept of G‑d's reward and punishment. They are typified in the very different ways in which catastrophe...
Published: May 18, 2020
 Matan Torah - The Great Unifier  .: Viewed: 312 times :.
At the end of Parshat Mishpatim the Torah states, "The entire nation replied in one voice, we will do all the things that G‑d told us." In the very next verse, we find that Moshe built an ALTER and 12 PILLARS, as it says, "Then he built an ALTER next to the mountain and 12 PILLARS for the 12 Tribes of Israel" (Shemot 24:4). Why did Moshe construct both an ALTER and also 12 PILLARS at Mount...
Published: May 12, 2020
 Prayer for CORONA Victims during SEFIRA  .: Viewed: 250 times :.
What do hope to accomplish when praying for a person stricken with CORONA? G‑D knows exactly what we need. My Rebbe Rav Pam, would repeat the question a cancer patient asked him in all sincerity. If pain and suffering are caused by one’s sins (Shabbat 55) and serve as a purifying process to spare the person from suffering in Gehenom, how may one pray that G‑D remove the pain? Does a...
Published: May 8, 2020
 Matan Torah - Unity, NOT Uniformity!  .: Viewed: 323 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
 Yom Kippur - The YICHUD of God and Israel  .: Viewed: 345 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
 Serving God in Joy Despite CORONA  .: Viewed: 381 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
 The Exodus Message for CORONA  .: Viewed: 394 times :.
L’ILUI NISHMAT ASHER SHMUEL CHAIM Z”L ben EPHRAIM v’TZIONA What can the events leading up to the Exodus teach us about dealing with Coronavirus? Rav Soloveitchik posed the question on the verse in Parshat Shemot, “And G‑d saw the suffering of the children of Israel and He knew He must help them.” Rav Soloveitchik asks that if G‑d knew that He must help us, then...
Published: March 30, 2020
 Rabbi Akiva’s Seder - Coping With Corona  .: Viewed: 377 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
 CORONA’s Wake-Up Call  .: Viewed: 525 times :.
The Rambam in Hilchot Taanit informs us that times of great distress and suffering, like we are now experiencing, are times for introspection. G‑d wants us to reflect and think about how to become a better person. This Coronavirus is telling us that there are two areas where we should improve ourselves: The value of quality family time and the pain of loneliness. This mandatory quarantine...
Published: March 23, 2020
 Moshe’s Shiny Face  .: Viewed: 369 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
 The Mishkan Altar - A Virtual Gan Eden  .: Viewed: 421 times :.
“G‑d tells Moshe, you must make the Altar of hollow planks of wood…” (Shemot 27:8) This Altar was situated in the Courtyard, outside the Mishkan itself. This wooden Altar was a hollow structure that was filled up with earth each time the Mishkan was set up. Why did G‑d command that the Altar of Atonement should be filled up with earth? The Yerushalmi Nazir 7 and the...
Published: February 17, 2020
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