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

The Death of the First Born by Sir Lawrence Alma-TademaThis episode of The Original Torah PearlsBo (Exodus 10:1-13:16), 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)

This 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

Aviv Barley and the Gold Pandas

Aviv-Barley-and-the-Gold-PandasShalom All Y'all,

With the Aviv Search now over, last night I finally got my first good night of sleep in a week! The intensity of the Aviv Search had me going on adrenalin, coffee and prayers. This year's Aviv Search has been a true cliffhanger. This morning I prayed about it and read over the "other" Aviv reports that are making their way around the internet. It was clear to me that we looked through the very fields where some have claimed to find Aviv. We even shared some of this process as we were doing it in the podcast Proclaiming a Hebrew Leap Year of Faith. I can understand how someone who already decided it was turning into a New Year before his very eyes based on the vineyards, goat utters, and other factors (or is that utter factors?) could climb up one of the hills in that area and be convinced that he is looking at fields of Aviv Barley. On Tuesday March 8 we spent at least 1.5 hours driving through the back roads of those fields with the aid of a new (and very costly) GPS app that provides near-military grade maps, basically the highest you can get without being on an active IDF combat mission. As much as I was expecting to find Aviv, especially based on the exterior appearance of the barley, it just wasn't Aviv yet. We returned to the same area on Thursday March 10, just to give the barley the maximum amount of time to turn Aviv before entering into a new Hebrew month. And it still was not Aviv. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #24 – Proclaiming a Leap Year of Faith

Proclaiming-a-Leap-Year-of-Faith600pxThis week's episode of Hebrew Voice, Proclaiming a Leap Year of Faith, was recorded live on the Aviv Search in 2016. We take you to the very place of the proclamation in the barley fields of Israel. Walk with us through the process as we uncover God's appointed times according to the calendar hard-wired into Creation!

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Aviv Barley and the Spirit of Constantine

Tête de Constantin 1er - Palazzo dei Conservatori - MC0757In Aviv Barley and the Spirit of Constantine, Nehemia Gordon shows how the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD led to a change in the observance of the Biblical Calendar for both Jews and Christians. He also includes his educated guess as to when Passover will fall out this year based on the Aviv-New Moon calendar. Continue reading

Aviv Barley in the Biblical Calendar

6-Row-BarleyBiblical Leap Years

The Biblical year begins with the first New Moon after the barley in Israel reaches the stage in its ripeness called Aviv. The period between one year and the next is either 12 or 13 lunar months. Because of this, it is important to check the state of the Barley crops at the end of the 12th month. If the barley is Aviv at this time, then the following New Moon is Hodesh Ha-Aviv ("New Moon of the Aviv"). If the barley is still immature, we must wait another month and then check the barley again at the end of the 13th month. Continue reading

#002: Pre-Aviv in the Jordan Valley Feb 27, 2015

Pre-Aviv, Jordan Valley, barley, vegetative state, grass, flowering stage, Aviv, 12th Hebrew month, new moon, Hebrew year, Nehemia Gordon, Hebrew, Yehovah, yhvhI went down to examine the barley in the Jordan Valley today (Friday Feb 27, 2015). I was thought I might find barley in the vegetative state (like grass) after the snow and hail. Instead, I found barley in the flowering stage. This means there's a very good chance that the barley will be Aviv by the end of the 12th Hebrew month. This would make the new moon on Saturday March 21 the beginning of the Hebrew year. Here's a discussion I carried out in the field with Devorah Gordon about the Aviv in general and this year in particular. -Nehemia Continue reading