Hebrew Voices #90 – The Hebrew Error of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, The Hebrew Error of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nehemia Gordon looks at the promise of the Democratic Party's "Green New Deal" to pay money to those "unwilling to work". Nehemia shows how this unbelievable statement can help us understand medieval Hebrew Bible manuscripts and even shed light on the true pronunciation of the holy name of God. Nehemia also employs some classical Jewish techniques of Bible interpretation to find out whether this truly is a modern-day scribal error or part of a radical agenda to create a bloated welfare state. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #20 – Tetzaveh (Ezekiel 43:10-27)

Prophet Pearls Tetzaveh (Ezekiel 43:10-27) with Nehemia Gordon and Keith JohnsonIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Tetzaveh covering Ezekiel 43:10-27. In this Portion, Ezekiel describes the sin offering and the building plan for the Temple. Gordon and Johnson consider whether a spiritual or literal interpretation fits best with the minute details of the plan. We learn the iniquity for which Ezekiel’s listeners were (and we are) to be ashamed as well as the literal meanings of “temple” and “synagogue” and that word choice indicates world view. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #20 – Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

Kohen Gado, Torah Pearls Tetzaveh, Torah Pearls, Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10, torah portion, Nehemia Gordon, priest, temple, incense, tabernacleIn this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10), we begin with a discussion of how modern day synagogues and churches attempt to emulate the commandments for the decoration of the Biblical priests and the Temple.  This leads to an enlightening discussion on the interpretation of Scripture, and who has the right to decide what the scriptures say. Other topics include Josephus's statement that the name of God has four vowels and whether David sinned when he ate the Bread of the Presence. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #64 – A Chinese Christian who Loves Israel (Rebroadcast)

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, A Chinese Christian who Loves Israel, Nehemia Gordon speaks with Peter Wong of Hong Kong at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. Peter explains how he came to know the God of Israel, why he built the greatest museum of Biblical artifacts in East Asia, and about his personal mission to spread love for Israel and the Jewish People among the Chinese. Peter gives us a fascinating glimpse at someone from a non-Western background who has come to understand the importance of the Torah and Hebrew Roots of his faith. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #19 – Terumah (1 Kings 5:12[26]-6:13)

Prophet Pearls Terumah, 1 Kings, temple, d’veer, haftarah, hewn stones, Keith Johnson, month of ziv, mythical shamir worm, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, shamir, shamir worm, solomon’s temple, terumah, terumah haftarah, terumah prophets, YehovahIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Terumah covering 1 Kings 5:12[26]-6:13. Gordon and Johnson provide volumes of contextual insight into this seemingly straight-forward “How to Build a Temple” portion. We learn the importance of the “480 years” date given in this passage, that the forced labor used to build Solomon’s Temple compares favorably to modern practices, and how the coloring of the “hewn stones” beautified the Temple. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #19 – Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19)

Torah Pearls Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19, candelabrum, Menorah, tabernacle, Temple, Torah Pearls, torah portion, Temple Institute, menorahThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19). The episode opens with a lively discussion on the difference between tithes and offerings.  There follows a brilliant discussion of the "Mercy Seat" of the Ark, and what that means to different cultures and faiths.  What could have been a boring discussion of the "furniture" in the tabernacle becomes a passionate discussion of the implements what is really contained within the Ark. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #62 – Reggie White and The Secret Vault (Rebroadcast)

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Reggie White and the Secret Vault, I share my experiences teaching Biblical Hebrew to the late football Hall-of-Famer Reggie White and tell the story of how we attained special access to a vault holding the actual pages of the Aleppo Codex, an opportunity which Reggie later famously called the best day of his life, better than even winning the Superbowl! Jackie wrote: “What an inspiration this man's faith continues to be to the world... and to me.” Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #18 – Mishpatim (Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26)

Prophet Pearls Mishpatim, Jeremiah, deror liberty, haftarah, haftarah mishpatim, hebrew word play, hebrew word puns, indentured servants tanakh, Keith Johnson, mishpatim prophets, missing verses in Septuagint, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophet jeremiah, prophets, slavery in tanakh, spelling Isaac in TanakhIn this episode of Prophet PearlsMishpatim Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26, ever obedient servants of context, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson begin at the beginning—with two verses moved to the end of this Portion by the Rabbis.  In these two verses in which the unfailing laws of nature are equated with God’s promises to Israel, Gordon makes a connection between the theories of physicists and the views of pundits regarding the land of Israel.  Gordon and Johnson further explore why these two verses (and eight others) are missing from the Septuagint and why the spelling of Isaac differs here from elsewhere in the Tanakh. Continue reading