In this episode of Hebrew Voices, The Chinese Discover Haunukkah, Nehemia Gordon explains how he found himself teaching about Hanukkah, Christmas, and the ban on the Name, to hundreds of atheist high school students in China.
Diana wrote: “Loved the stories that Nehemia shared...could have listened for hours more.”Continue reading →
In this Support Team Study, Thanksgiving to Yehovah, I discuss whether Thanksgiving is a pagan holiday, look at the Hebrew words for "turkey" and “thanks”, and what the Tanach teaches us about humility, gratitude, and salvation.
Peggy wrote: "Nehemia, this is so profound, one of those gems that brings fresh light into the lives we all walk. I truly thank you for all you do in bringing a deeper understanding of Yah’s words and ways to us and to me every week."Continue reading →
This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Toldot, covering Malachi 1:1-2:7. If context is key, Gordon and Johnson have opened the door. We learn the exact historical context of Malachi’s message, a specific event at Sinai to which he referred, and the current events on the Temple Mount that prove the Prophet’s words to be as relevant as ever. Gordon tracks down a lost root to clarify the job description of a “messenger” and sets the record straight on “Levites,” “priests” and “cohanim.” Regarding Malachi’s prophecy, “my name is great among the nations,” Gordon tells of Icelanders and Filipinos who have gathered themselves with Yehovah and encourages listeners to be ready to do likewise. Continue reading →
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9). God’s desire and ability to establish a universal and eternal plan within three generations of a mere human family comes to the forefront in Toldot. Discussions include: Are three related nations depicted among these generations? What is the symbolic significance of Isaac’s wells? Word studies include: “red,” “heel,” “trembled,” and how the KJV back-tracked to render a personified view of “satan.” We see familial patterns continue as Isaac echoes, “she’s my sister,” and Rebecca steps away from the daily grind to “seek Yehovah.” The trio explores Jacob and Esau’s differences—a shepherd with a plan and a hunter in the moment—as well as the defining difference that altered their destinies. As Jacob sets off with the double portion, God’s mixed-multitude plan is set in motion—a plan to bring his covenant to all mankind. Continue reading →
In this episode of Hebrew Voices, The Battle for the Six Day War, I speak with Michael Oren, the greatest living historian of modern Israel, to learn about the fight against Fake News, his adventures in the Zionist Underground, and how President Obama helped laid the foundations of a new Iranian empire. Michael Oren is an important member of the Israeli government who also holds a PhD in history from Princeton University. Continue reading →
This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Chayei Sarah, covering 1 Kings 1:1-31. With clues from Gordon and Johnson, the ancient story of King David’s old age and the ensuing struggle for succession seem as modern as any HBO political drama. The portion opens with a brow-raising account of a woman “warming” the king. But which provides the best explanation—eisegesis or exegesis study methods? The word play between “Adonijah” and “Adonai” provides a virtual romp through the portion, and we learn how Amnon-Absalom-Adonijah and Solomon fit the Hebrew thought pattern of “three and four.” Gordon explains why it’s a big deal to swear by Yehovah as well as why it was dangerous to live in an ancient culture and claim to be a king. Pearls aplenty, but it’s hard to top the one little word that Bathsheba adds when proclaiming l’chaim to King David—“olam.” Continue reading →
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18). Love, romance, marriage, death, laden camels, and the power of specific prayers—Chayei Sarah unfolds dramatically as the trio examine its many pearls. The portion begins with Abraham securing a burial place for Sarah and ends with his death. In between, we get to relive one of the world’s best stories, not once, but four times, as Abraham’s servant makes a match for Isaac. But far from stale repetition, Gordon explains that being able to analyze word choices in a repeated story is pay dirt for the linguist. Continue reading →
In this study, Hanukkah: Fact and Fiction, Nehemia Gordon explains that the real story of Hannukah, where the Rabbinic tradition of lighting candles for eight days comes from, and how the victory should be celebrated today. Sandra wrote: “This is excellent information! Thank you for your dedication in getting the truth out and helping to dissolve fiction so that fact can shine through!”Continue reading →
This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayeira covering 2 Kings 4:1-4:37. The miracles of Elisha yield fascinating pearls as Gordon and Johnson discuss the similarities and differences of Elisha’s and Elijah’s stories, the measure of spirit that Elisha really asked for, whether the Shunammite was full of faith or just evasive—and why her travels on Shabbat present problems for both rabbis and Karaites. Gordon looks at other instances of resurrection in the Tanakh and gives chapter and verse explaining how the books of the Tanakh are grouped according to three fields of knowledge. We also learn that whether the prophets are considered “classical” or “literary,” these guys completely expected to be kept in the loop. Continue reading →
In The Original Torah Pearls,Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24), the trio sheds light on interpreting the words and actions of “messengers” by comparing the three men who visited Abraham with other examples in scripture. They debate which of the many depravities of Sodom left it covered in salt to this day. With information about Abraham’s place and time, Gordon brings understanding to the more baffling events in this portion—particularly Lot’s approach to hospitality. Other Torah pearls include: the significance of Abraham bargaining with the number ten, Ishmael’s “mocking” of Isaac, and word puns that prove the Creator not only has a keen sense of humor but that he’s willing to work with us. The trio ends by exploring the “blessing” that Abraham bequeathed to the world—the opportunity to be grafted in. Continue reading →