Torah Pearls #14 – Vaeira (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

Torah Pearls Vaeira, Exodus 6:2-9:35, Egypt, Exodus, Jono Vandor, Keith Johnson, migdal-oz, mixed multitude, month of aviv, Moses, Name of God, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Pharaoh, plague, plagues, Tetragrammaton, Torah Pearls, Torah Portion, vaeira, YehovahThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Vaeira (Exodus 6:2-9:35). At face value, the first sentence of Vaeira appears to contradict other Scripture but several common-sense explanations clear things up. We learn why Moses’ lineage was important—particularly to the original audience—and that his “why me?” attitude was a sign of greatness. Gordon reveals a key verse for understanding the month of Aviv and the significance of its place on the Hebrew calendar. He also reads a poetic passage from the Portion that contains God’s name and where the rhyme of the divine is evident. As the trio examines each plague, Gordon translates the three Hebrew words for what was done to Pharaoh’s heart. Johnson speculates if the livestock taken to a place of shelter—a “migdal-oz”—hints at the mixed multitude and wonders if any Egyptians took shelter in the wondrous redemption to be found in Goshen. Continue reading

The Yom Kippur Jazz Singer

Scene from the movie The Jazz Singer (1972).One Yom Kippur I watched a great movie, the original 1927 film The Jazz Singer. This was the first "talkie," containing several scenes with sound, although most of it was still silent. The second “talking” scene in the movie - actually, the second non-silent scene in movie history - features a Jewish cantor singing Kol Nidre, a famous Yom Kippur prayer in Aramaic. This alone makes the movie worth watching. Just imagine an American audience in 1927. The first time they see a "talking" movie. And it’s a Rabbi singing a Jewish prayer in Aramaic! Continue reading

Unity vs Uniformity

Since the 1980s I have been striving to understand our Creator's holy calendar and live in accordance with the times He hard-wired into Creation. Over the years I have seen a proliferation of calendar systems among those turning to Scripture, as my own understanding has also grown and deepened. Calendar disputes have led to division and strife since the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, I believe that honoring our Creator's calendar to the best of our ability, should not be something that divides us. Continue reading

Tammuz and the Lunar Sabbath

tammuz-lunar-sabbathThis message is called "Tammuz and the Lunar Sabbath." This is a follow up to my last message "Don't Call It Tammuz!" In this audio recording I explain how Jewish months and English weeks have been usurped by pagans, covering over the biblical truth underneath both systems. In case you are wondering, the Lunar Sabbath is nonsense. In this recording I provide definitive proof of why it's nonsense and where the nonsense comes from. I also talk briefly (yeah, right) about the Yearly Sabbath or Shemitah cycle, which provides a sharp contrast to the Weekly Sabbath or Shabbat cycle.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Seder

Nehemia-at-Tayelet-Small, Seder, Support Team, study, raw stream, Torah, consciousness, discernment, spirituality, emotional manipulation, demonic, deception, Scripture, fruitful, dialogue, versesIn this Support Team study, I share how a Passover Seder when I was eight marked my life and ministry. This Passover experience was a seed that grew and eventually opened a crack in my Litvak intellectualism. It allowed me to recognize that true spiritual encounters can be real, powerful, and life changing. But we need to have discernment between true encounters with our creator, emotional manipulation from others, or from “demonic” deception. While I don't have all the answers, I know what Scripture says—all authentic spiritual experiences must line up with Torah—and I hope this study begins a fruitful dialogue. Please share your thoughts and ideas (along with verses) in the comments—after listening to the study. Continue reading