Prophet Pearls #46 – Eikev (Isaiah 49:14-51:3)

Prophet Pearls, comfort zion, eikev, eikev haftarah, eikev prophets portion, ekev, ekev haftarah, gather kibbutz, god as mother, haftarah, hebrew gender rules, hebrew grammar, Ingathering, isaiah, Isaiah 49:14-51:3, jeremiah, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophet Pearls, prophets, Torah PortionIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Eikev covering Isaiah 49:14-51:3. The gender rules of Hebrew grammar are explored in this portion as well as Isaiah’s (and Moses’) metaphorical references to God as a mother. We learn that the suffering servant’s message is one of great hope—that we can fully trust and lean on God. In addition to grammar goodies, word studies include “gather/kibbutz”—as we see nations gathering in the Land—fulfilling God’s word to Isaiah. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #46 – Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

Torah Pearls - Eikev, 40 days, 40 nights, abominations, arrogance, awesome, bees, Birkat HaMazon, blessing, blot out, Circumcised heart, collective blessing, cows, curse, cursed thing, eikev, fasting, first person, God of gods, gods, golden calf, grace, grace after a meal, hornet, idolatry, Jesus quotes Torah, Karaism, karaite, Karaites, land flowing with milk and honey, meal, Moses intervened for Aaron, name, on the heels of, plagues, Prophecy, search scriptures, seven species, staple crops of Israel, tablets, tablets of stone, Ten Commandments, Tetragrammaton, Torah, Torah Pearls, walking the landIn this episode of The Original Torah PearlsEikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25), using language, history, context and common sense, Nehemia Gordon provides insight into Hebrew slang as well as certain words from the portion, including “because,” “disease,”  and “hornet.” The question of when to say grace leads the trio to discuss the powerful implications of lifelong learning—“little by little.” Johnson relates how Jesus’ intimacy with the books of Moses draws him to the Torah. The trio answers: What Hebrew word describes both “God” and “desert?” Does God set time limits on wickedness? What things are abominable? What is the danger of arrogance? Who hewed? And who wrote? Gordon discusses the irony that scripture and Jewish tradition consider the blotting out of a name to be a curse. And in contrast to the practice of only using the Tetragrammaton, Gordon reads Deuteronomy 10:17 in Hebrew to reveal the alliterative beauty of the verse and the power unleashed when the great, mighty and awesome name is spoken. Continue reading

The Book of Jasher Exposed

Hannibal-Crossing-Alps-Wikimedia300pxIn my Support Team StudyThe Book of Jasher (Sefer HaYashar), I reveal whether the book of Jasher published in 1625 could be the same one mentioned in Joshua and 2Samuel. I had no idea what I would find when I began my research and am relieved after all these years to finally have a definitive answer. If you have wondered whether the Book of Jasher we have today is the ancient book referred to in the Tanakh, have a listen to the evidence I share in this episode. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #50 – My Favorite Bible Verse (Rebroadcast)

In Hebrew Voices, My Favorite Bible Verse, Nehemia Gordon talks about the first verse his father ever taught him, and why he suspects his favorite verse might have also been one of Yeshua’s favorites, and quite possibly the last words on Yeshuah's lips. This episode is available as a video and as a podcast. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #45 – Va’etchanan (Isaiah 40:1-26)

In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Va'etchanan covering Isaiah 40:1-26. ”Nachamu, nachamu, / Comfort, comfort ye my people” begins this portion as well as the theme of Haftarah readings for the next seven weeks. Gordon explains the history and symbolism for these “Haftarot of consolation” and why they are read from Tish’ah b’Av (the ninth of Av) until Rosh Hashanah.  We also learn the remarkable story of Herbert Samuel—whose reading of this portion at the Hurva Synagogue in 1920 was seen as the official pronouncement of the end of the third exile. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #45 – Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

This episode of The Original Torah PearlsVa'etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11), is perhaps the crown jewel of Torah portions. It contains the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. But what do the Hebrew words “Shema” and “Echad” mean and why is this single verse so important? Also in this program: Is Jesus/ Yeshua a victim of character assassination? What are the Noahide laws? Was the covenant made with us or our fathers? What is the 1st commandment? Continue reading

Tefillin (phylacteries)

Popular legend has it that the Karaites, and the Sadducees before them, interpreted the words "and they shall be for Totafot between your eyes" literally, and as a result wore Tefillin (Phylacteries) right above their noses.  One version of the story claims that the Sadducees were wiped out because of this practice.  The legend goes that they kept bumping into walls and since their Tefillin were between their eyes (instead of on their foreheads), their noses were sent shattering into their brains, killing them instantly.  The Karaites and other deniers of the "Oral Law" are portrayed as bumbling idiots who through their foolish practices wiped themselves out.  The message of this story is that it is impossible to live (literally) as a Karaite, and therefore we need the "Oral Law" to save us from this savage extinction. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #3 – Temple Mount Treasures (Rebroadcast)

Zachi Dvira holding a paving stone from Herod's Temple. This piece of bituminous limestone was smoothed by millions of Jewish pilgrims who visited the Temple in the First Century AD. Yeshua of Nazareth may have stepped foot on this very paving stone.In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Temple Mount Treasures, Nehemia speaks  with Zachi Dvira (Zweig), co-founder and co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. Dvira relates the shameful history of when the Islamic Religious "Waqf" bulldozed 9,000 tons of material from the Temple Mount and dumped it in the nearby Kidron Valley. But the news gets better as we learn how Israeli scholarship, ingenuity, technology, and chutzpah are reclaiming the travesty and unearthing treasures—one bucketful at a time. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #44 – Devarim (Isaiah 1:1-27)

Prophet Pearls Devarim, abominations, abominations to the lord, babylonian talmud, Devarim, haftarah, isaiah, Isaiah 1:1-27, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah series, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophet Pearls, prophets, prophets portion, red ribbon scapegoat, thread of crimson, yoma 39, yoma 39bIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Devarim, covering Isaiah 1:2-27. Devarim kicks off the “Isaiah series” of haftarah readings—the preacher-prophet with a flair for the poetic. Word studies include the pun surrounding “stranger/zareem”; Isaiah’s frequent use of “hoy,” and the word-of-the-week, “HaAdon/the owner-lord-master” (hei,aleph, dalet, vav, nun). Gordon provides three witnesses that the prayers and sacrifices of the wicked are abominable to the Lord—confirming Isaiah’s message that it’s all about obedience. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #44 – Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22)

Torah-Pearls-44-Deuteronomy-01-DevarimIn this episode of The Original Torah Pearls Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22), we begin by noting how the Greek mistranslation of the title of Devarim as “Deuteronomy” muddles its meaning. With the book’s title settled, a puzzle appears in the very first verse: How could Moses have spoken from the “east side” of the Jordan? And the hits just keep on coming as they expound on giants and ghosts; on which is worse—a thief in the night or a highway robber; on the one thing that could not be found in all of Canaan, and exactly whose idea was this anyway? Gordon closes with an example from the Portion of the über-diligence of the scribes who preserved these wonders for us. Continue reading