SHELACH (Numbers, 13:1-15:41) — “What Was Moses’ Last Name?”


… Caleb needed to get the attention of the mob.  How would he silence them?  He decided to pretend to insult Moses, calling him by his “last name” …

Why is it offensive to be addressed by one’s last name?…

The rest of this message can be read by opening the attachment or clicking here .

Additional messages from previous years:

“Fringe Benefits” (2010)

“Around the Land in Eighty… um, FORTY, Days”  (2007)

“I’m Gonna Do What You Want … Whether You Like It or Not!”(2004)

“Ten Times One Equals Infinity” (2003)




Published in: on May 4, 2014 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  









Published in: on January 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

About Rabbi Seplowitz

Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz is a chaplain, Mohel, and Sofer (Scribe — writer of Torahs and other Jewish texts.)

Rabbi Seplowitz studied at the Jerusalem and Queens, New York campuses of the Rabbinical Seminary of America (Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim) under Rabbis  A. Henoch Leibowitz , and Moshe Chait. He also studied in Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem, where he received Smicha, (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbis Michel Berenbaum and David Feinstein.

Rabbi Seplowitz has served pulpits in Tucson, Arizona and Kingston, New York. He currently lives in Monsey, New York.

For information about scheduling a Bris or a lecture, or just to say hello, call (800) 83MOHEL.

Personal Interests

Rabbi Seplowitz is a native of Norwich, Connecticut. He attended the Hebrew Day School of Eastern Connecticut and the New England Academy of Torah. His hobbies include fishing, home brewing beer, long distance walking and biking, and tending his backyard chicken coop.  (He calls himself a “third generation chicken farmer” and suggests that his children are fourth generation chicken farmers.  They respectfully respond that the tradition stops at 3! 🙂 )

Among his favorite quotations is the beginning of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato‘s “Path of the Just”.

“The foundation of righteousness and the root of perfection in the service of G-d lies in a man’s coming to see clearly and to recognize as a truth the nature of his duty in the world and the end towards which he should direct his vision and his aspiration in all of his labors all the days of his life.”

This quote (in the original Hebrew) hangs on the wall in his office.

His favorite secular poem, which also hangs on his wall, is Rudyard Kipling’s “If.”


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;


If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;


If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;


If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breath a word about your loss;


If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on !”;


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;


If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

—Rudyard Kipling


Rabbi Seplowitz sums up the message of these two quotes: “In other words, learn what G-d expects of you, understand what is proper, and don’t be concerned about what others may think of your values. — JUST DO IT!”

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Rabbi Seplowitz’s Op-Eds

“On women rabbis, the OU is consistent and reasonable”  February 5, 2018

“Time For ‘Open Orthodox’ Congregations To Leave The OU”? January 21, 2018

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Published in: on October 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

CHAYEI SARAH (Genesis, 23:1-25:18) — “Will You Marry Me… Again?!”

… She was none other than Hagar, the mother of Abraham’s oldest son Ishmael.  … as a result of Hagar’s idol worship, and her son Ishmael’s wickedness, they were both sent away.

Now that Sarah was gone, Abraham decided to remarry Hagar.

… How could Abraham do something like that?  Where was his respect for his wife Sarah?  …  Now that Sarah is out of the picture, he goes back and marries this wicked woman??!!…

Read more. 

Additional messages from previous years: 

“The Living Dead or the Dead Living?” (2009) 

Ham’s not Kosher!!” (2008) 

Well, There’s Bad News and There’s Good News…” (2006)  

“White Power!” (2003)

“Do You REALLY Believe That?!” (2002) 

“Walk a Mile for a Camel” (2000) 

Published in: on October 24, 2013 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

VAYEIRA (Genesis, 18:1 22:24) — “Girl Talk?”

Yose ben Yochanan says: “… don’t engage in too much conversation with the woman.” This was said about one’s own wife; all the more so does it apply to another’s wife.… the Sages said: “anyone who engages in too much conversation with women causes evil to himself, neglects Torah study, and will eventually inherit Gehinnom.  (The Hebrew term for … a very hot place!!)”

Not very politically correct!

This is, to say the very least, very difficult to understand.  The part about overdoing conversation with someone else’s wife is understandable.  Human nature being what it is, it is certainly wise for men and women who are not married to each other to set parameters as to how much friendly conversation is appropriate.  But what’s wrong with talking to your wife?…

Read more. 

Additional messages from previous years: 

“A Prayer and an Opportunity” (2010)

“Immaculate Deception?” (2009)

 “What’s So Funny?” (2006) 

“Would Abraham Give Candy to Trick-or-Treaters?” (2005)

“The Most Powerful Force on Earth” (2003) 

“Not Now, G-d, I’m Busy . . . I’ll Talk to You Later!” (2002) 

“Could the Twin Towers Have Been Saved?”(2001) 

“Under the Influence of Dregs” (2000) 


Published in: on October 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment