Passover Special – Torah Pearls #55

Israel Leaving EgyptIn this Original Torah Pearl – Passover Special, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson delve into the story of the exodus, beginning with Ex 12:21. They start off by sharing the time they personally experienced "darkness so dark, it could be felt". Nehemia points out a few examples in the exodus story where we are given background information by way of a flashback and he explain how the Passover sacrifice was brought, who could eat of it and how it should be commemorated today. Keith gets all excited when they come to the part where Yehovah introduces His calendar and Nehemia suggests we be tolerant of our neighbor who may be celebrating the holidays on a different date than ourselves. Nehemia also gives a very quick overview of the three different types of leaven and the extent of the prohibition of leaven on Chag HaMatzot (Passover). All this and more in this Original Torah Pearl – Passover Special. Continue reading

When was the Passover Sacrifice Brought

When was the Passover Sacrifice Brought?The Torah commands us: "In the First Month on the fourteenth day of the month, between the two evenings [Hebrew: "Bein Ha'arabayim"], is the Passover [Sacrifice] to Yehovah." In biblical Hebrew, the word "evening" (Ayin-Resh-Bet) indicates both the "early part of the night", as well as the actual "onset of evening". Continue reading

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

Hebrew Voices #25 – A Sober Purim in Jerusalem (Rebroadcast)

A-Sober-Purim-in-Jerusalem600x521In this episode of Hebrew Voices, A Sober Purim in Jerusalem, Nehemia visits with Rabbi "Big" Mike Gondelman to learn about the Jewish approach to treating alcoholism. The conversation opens with profound insights into the character of the Persian King Ahasuerus whose alcohol-driven binges nearly resulted in the total annihilation of the Jewish People. After hearing this interview, you will never look at Purim, alcoholism, or Alcoholics Anonymous the same way again. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #15 – Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)

Torah Pearls Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16, Torah Pearls Vaeira, Exodus 6:2-9:35, Egypt, Exodus, 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 Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16). This week's episode of Torah Pearls begins with the plague of locusts in Egypt.  From the stories of Moses stretching his hands toward Egypt we gain some fascinating insights on the power of prayer.  The discussion then moves to the death of the firstborn, and explore some of the amazing acts of The LORD providing for the Hebrew people prior to their departure.  The group then speaks at length on the determining of the New Year based on the Hebrew calendar, which allows us to determine when Passover comes.  This leads to a wonderful discussion of being humble enough to admit when one is wrong. Continue reading

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