Bio Dr. Ari Greenspan

Dr. Ari Greenspan

Ari Greenspan, DMD

Dr. Greenspan is a co-founder of the Ptil Tekhelet Association. He is a US trained dentist, with a practice in Jerusalem. He is a practicing mohel, shochet and sofer, and has worked for more than 30 years on collecting Jewish traditions and mesorot from far flung Jewish communities around the globe. He pioneered the exotic kosher dinner as a means of passing along disappearing kosher food traditions. He is a frequent contributor to Mishpacha magazine, had a column on Jewish tradition in Otiyot, a children’s hebrew magazine and writes extensively for other journals. Dr. Greenspan has been producing commercial Judaic art for 25 years enjoying wood metal and glass as his media.

Scholar in Residence

He has lectured around the world for Dental groups and for many Synagogues and Jewish Schools. Some places include, San Antonio Texas, LA, NY, NJ, Chicago, St Louis, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Toronto, London, Germany, Bulgaria, Portugal, Croatia, Sarajevo, Addis Ababa, South Africa, India and Israel.

Multimedia and hands on Presentations include:

Tekhelet, Halachic Archeology, Halachic Adventuring, Mesorah of Exotic Kosher Animals, Search for the Perfect Etrog, History of Matzah, Anussim and Halacha and many others


Exotic Kosher Animals

From peacocks to locusts, guinea hens to yak. Realize how mesorah and our ancient traditions of kashrut are being lost. Understand how those ancient traditions have been recorded from places like Yemen,Tunisia and Djerba.This is a talk about halachic detective work and halachic forensics and an attempt to save it.

The Great Matzah Wars

The confluence of one of our most ancient and simple customs and the industrial revolution made the need for machine matzot to be a reality. The halachic literature of the time is  a fascinating example of modernity meeting tradition. The debates that ensued were among the most acrimonious halachic discussions in the last 2 centuries.

The Search For The Holy Snail

Nobody has worn tekhelet for close to 1300 years. 18 years ago  together with 2 friends we went scuba diving to try and rediscover the snail and process for dying tzitzit for tekhelet. Join me on that journey. It will be a multimedia presentation on the history,halacha,archeology , biology and the chemistry of color and tekhelet. I will do a demonstration on ancient  dyeing techniques.

Exotic Jewish Communities

Take a halachic tour of Jewish communities from Asmara, Eritrea to Djerba, Tunisa, from  Djibouti to Bahrain. Spend shabbat on the  island of Byeukeda in Turkey where the only mode of transportation is still horse and buggy or trek to the Atlas mountains in Morocco to see the ancient etrog orchards. Yom Kippur in Adis Abbaba or Pesach baking matzot in the mountains of Portugal.  That is only a small part of the halachic mosaic and world minhangim of the exotic Jewish communities.

The Halachic History of coffee,tea,sugar and chocolate

A historical journey through the halachic history of the discovery  and Jewish usage of these essential items

How to tie tzitzit

A great parent child hands on workshop and best of all, you get to go home with your own pair of tzitzit.

Crypto Jews: The marranos of day past and the anussim of today

Having lived with the former anussim in the mountains of Portugal and studied and visited communities still with living marranos, I will discuss the roots and history of this phenomenon and explain the fascinating rabbinic literature from the middle ages and onward on the topic. We will look at the present day secret Jews of  New Mexico and Portugal and Spain.


Jerusalem- a halachic history tour of the center of the world

An intensive look at the ancient and modern Jerusalem with an emphasis on the Temple Mount. Its importance in Jewish history, thought and writing and its centrality to modern Israel and world politics. Unusual and unpublished pictures from underneath the mount in its’ secret tunnels and gates.

The shofar

halachic and historic evaluation of how the shofar is made, what animals it can come from. The history of the  the great shofar blowing on shabbat. The halachot of blowing.

Why Coca Cola is forbidden during the year and permitted on shabbatA tounge in cheek title for understanding the laws of chametz and taaruvot and kashrut in general. Based upon some fascinating historical research into Rabbi Tobias Geffen’s papers and original letters with the CoCa Cola company in the 1920’s in an attempt to make the drink kosher

Halachic Astronomy– An overview of time and astronomy and how halacha interacts with them. The point of the shiur is to see the history of halachic time, the anussim and talmudists that affected it. Understand bein hashmashot and how halachic times are figred out.

The search for the perfect etrog – Understand the halacha and botany of the etrog. What was the original etrog. Why are murkavim forbidden and where do the worlds etrogim grow. Learn about the “etrog wars” and how this fruit was used in the ancient world and during the mikdash. See etrogim as you never have before.

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