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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 Why does Yirmiyahu refer to Tisha B’Av as a Festival?  .: Viewed: 1463 times :.
On Tisha B'Av we mourn for the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples. The Talmud in Trachtate Taanit (p. 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 15, 2021
 A Diary of Life  .: Viewed: 1351 times :.
“These are the journeys of the Children of Israel. Moshe wrote their goings forth according to their journeys at the command of Hashem, and these were their journeys according to their goings forth.” (Bamidbar 33:1-2) Parshat Masai begins with a review of the 42 encampments that Israel made in their 40 year journey through the Wilderness. Rashi notes that this is an illustration...
Published: July 5, 2021
 The Link between Pinchas and Eliyahu Hanavi  .: Viewed: 1617 times :.
The Zohar says that Eliyahu Hanavi was the Reincarnated soul of Pinchas, the grandson of Aharon, the High Priest. Pinchas was the hero whose act of Zealotry saved the Jewish People from destruction by a deadly plague (Bamidbar 25). Is Reincarnation mentioned in TANACH (The Bible)? The Ramban and other Kabbalists state that the Book of Ruth teaches the doctrine of Reincarnation (Gilgul...
Published: June 28, 2021
 The Incomprehensible Power of Teshuva  .: Viewed: 1476 times :.
Rashi in Parshat Chukat quotes a Midrash that explains that the Red Heifer is a tikun for the Sin of the Golden Calf. "To what can this be likened? To a maid that worked in the palace of the king. One day her child came and soiled the palace with his filth. The king said: 'Let the mother come and clean up her child's filth.'" This is the concept of atonement for the golden calf, for the Holy...
Published: June 14, 2021
 Listen to You Wife!  .: Viewed: 1550 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, was...
Published: June 4, 2021
 Were the Spies Justified in Fearing the Giants?  .: Viewed: 1498 times :.
Are we able to defeat the Giants? The Torah tells us that the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael were y’lide ho’anaq, remnants of a race of Giants. When the Meraglim 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 there.” (Bamidbar 13:28) And...
Published: June 1, 2021
 Moshe - The Most Humble Man  .: Viewed: 1573 times :.
The Torah states in Parshat Behaaloscha “The man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more than any other person on the face of the earth.” (Bamidbar 12:3) Rashi defines the word ענו as humble, patient, and tolerant. His sister Miriam and his brother Aaron criticized him for separating from his wife and felt that what he did was improper by divorcing Tzipora. But since Miriam was the...
Published: May 24, 2021
 613 Mitzvot or 913  .: Viewed: 1589 times :.
“But they shall not come and look as the Holy Objects are covered, lest they die.” (Bamidbar 4:20) The Sefer HaChinuch writes that Parshat Bamidbar does not contain any of the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah. The Baal Halachot Gadolot disputes the words of the Sefer HaChinuch and says that Bamidbar does have one Mitzvah, the verse cited above. This verse prohibits the Levi’im...
Published: May 6, 2021
 The Sin of Lashon Hara - A Chillul Hashem  .: Viewed: 1589 times :.
The Torah states in Parshat Emor “You shall not desecrate My Holy Name” (Vayikra 22:32). This verse is the source for the sin of Chillul Hashem, which is one of the most serious sins that a Jew can commit, and for which it is extremely difficult to do tshuvah (Yuma 86a). A little known aspect of Chillul Hashem is when a person habitually speaks or listens to lashon hara. The...
Published: April 22, 2021
 No Talking in Shul  .: Viewed: 1695 times :.
“My Shabbatot you shall observe, and My Sanctuary you shall revere.” (Vayikra 19:30). Rashi comments that giving the proper respect to the sanctuary (Beit Hamikdash) is expressed by not entering with ones walking stick, or while wearing shoes or a money belt or with dust on ones feet. Today we have no Beit Hamikdash, but the Gemara in Megillah 29 teaches that our shuls are מקדשי...
Published: April 15, 2021
 The 4 Stages of Redemption  .: Viewed: 1617 times :.
When G‑d sent Moshe to Egypt to free Israel, the Torah states, “And Moshe took his wife and sons and mounted them on the donkey” (Shmot 4:20). Why is it important that Moshe took his family on a donkey? Rashi makes a strange comment on this verse, “the Donkey that Moshiach will utilize to usher in the Final Redemption”. How do we understand this odd comment of...
Published: March 16, 2021
 The 4 Sons - Which One Am I?  .: Viewed: 1675 times :.
The 4 sons occupy a key place in the Hagadah. The Hagadah states their questions, then spells out the answers, all of which are based on biblical texts. כנגד ארבעה בנים דברה תורה. The Torah is realistic, not all children are Chachamim. Life presents us with a variety of children, ranging from the wise to the wicked. Parents cannot and should not ignore any of them. We have to listen...
Published: March 11, 2021
 A WORD TO THE WISE  .: Viewed: 1794 times :.
“See, G‑d has proclaimed Bezalel by name…he filled him with G‑dly spirit, with wisdom, insight, and understanding.” (Shmot 35:30-31) Bezalel, the master architect of the Mishkan, was endowed with exceptional wisdom and knowledge necessary to make a dwelling place for G‑d’s Shechinah. Midrash Tanchuma comments that Bezalel already had possessed great wisdom before he...
Published: March 7, 2021
 Where Is G-D in Megilat Esther  .: Viewed: 1670 times :.
The Rambam states in Hilchos Megilah, Chapter 2, Halacha 18, that all books of the Prophets and all of the Holy Writings will be cancelled in the Messianic Era except for Megilat Esther, which will exist forever like the Torah and the Talmud. What’s even stranger is that Esther is the only book in TANACH without G-d’s name in it. Why is the only book in Holy Scripture (Ketuvim)...
Published: February 18, 2021
 Do Curses Really Work?  .: Viewed: 1915 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
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