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

Torah-Pearls-44-Deuteronomy-01-DevarimThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22). The trio begins 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

Prophet Pearls #43 – Masei (Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4)

Prophet Pearls Masei ,anatot, cisterns in israel, E’evod, Ein Perat, haftarah, jeremiah, Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4, Keith Johnson, makor, makor hebrew foundation, masei, Masei – Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophet Pearls, prophets, Qere Ketiv, Tetragrammaton, Yehovah, אעבדThis week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Masei covering Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4. Gordon gives eyewitness accounts of the springs and cisterns of Israel—springs that are sources and fountains of living water and man-made cisterns that can be rendered worthless. We learn that the “makor” (mem, qoof, reish), the “spring” with which Jeremiah was most familiar, still exists today. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #49 – Why Would I Ever Stop

Nehemia Gordon and Dev Daniel talking about the name of God.In Hebrew Voices, Why Would I Ever Stop, Nehemia Gordon shares with Dev Daniel his excitement about finding the name "Yehovah" in over 100 newly available Hebrew manuscripts, how this is a game-changer in the debate about God's holy name, and why Nehemia came to Israel to continue this earth-shattering research. You are invited to watch the video or listen to the podcast. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #43 – Masei (Numbers 33:1-36:13)

Torah Pearls MaseiIn this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Masei (Numbers 33:1-36:13), we reach the final portion for the Book of Numbers! Among the topics we discuss is, how are the gentiles who join themselves to Yehovah (Isaiah 56) assigned to one of the twelve tribes, as Calev was assigned to Judah? Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #42 – Matot (Jeremiah 1:1-2:3)

Almond branch in the Valley of Elah. Photo by Nehemia Gordon. This week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Matot, covering Jeremiah 1:1-2:3. Gordon and Johnson provide copious context for the life and times of Jeremiah and the heart-wrenching message he delivered to Jerusalem. The word-of-the-week is “shoked” (shin, qoof, dalet). Its expressions of “almond branch” and “diligence” provide a lesson in creative destruction and an example of a classic Hebrew word pun. Gordon closes with a prayer based on the last verse of the portion—thanking Yehovah for protecting the first fruits of his harvest in Jerusalem, in Israel, and throughout the world. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #41 – Pinchas (1 Kings 18:46-19:21)

Prophet Pearls Pinchas, 1 Kings 18:46-19:21, 1 Kings, elijag mount horeb, elijah and jezebel, elijah mount carmel, elijah mt carmel, elijah mt horeb, etbaal, haftarah, jezebel baal, jezebel sidonian princess, Keith Johnson, mount horeb, Mt. Horeb, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, spirit of jezebel, still small voice, this silent voiceThis week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Pinchas (1 Kings 18:46-19:21). Following the smack-down at Mount Carmel, Elijah flees to the desert. But was he “afraid” or did he just “see” what he needed to do? Gordon parses “ra’ah” (reish, aleph, hei) and explains why this word could be translated “afraid” or “saw.” Continue reading

Torah Pearls #41 – Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)

Torah Pearls PinchasThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1). What is the qualification of the first born? Who inherits the land if a father has no sons but only daughters? Did Pinchas impale a princess of Midian? Double portion or two thirds – what did it mean for Moses to impart some of his glory to Joshua, or Elijah’s spirit to Elisha? Continue reading