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

Hebrew Voices #13 – The Truth About Christmas and Tammuz (Rebroadcast)

Mithra slaying the bull in a scene known as the Tauroctony. This image appears in every temple of Mithra, but the story behind it is a matter of conjecture (=guesswork). In this episode of Hebrew Voices, The Truth about Christmas and Tammuz, Bible Scholar Nehemia Gordon connects with Dr. Richard Carrier, an expert in ancient religions who reads Greek and Roman texts the way Nehemia reads ancient Hebrew. Dr. Carrier uses his expertise to help Nehemia sort out the genuine pagan influences on Christmas from modern-day myths projected back in time by "dodgy" scholarship. They discuss Tammuz, Inanna (Ishtar), Mithra, Isis, Osiris, and other pagan deities with reference to the writings of Philo, Justin Martyr, Plutarch, Euhemerus, Plato and the Rambam. In closing, Gordon encourages listeners not to be afraid to check out ancient sources and to approach them with discernment and a prayer for understanding. Continue reading

My U-Haul Sukkot

Gordon Family U-Haul Sukkah 1976.One of my earliest childhood memories was Sukkot of 1976, when I was 3.5 years old. I remember sitting in the family Sukkah, looking up through the branches that formed the roof, at the clouds as they whisked across the sky. We lived in a 17-story condominium and there was no obvious place to build a Sukkah. My father (of blessed memory), an Orthodox rabbi, asked permission to build a Sukkah in his designated parking space. When his request was turned down by the condominium board, my mother came up with the idea of building our Sukkah on the back of a U-Haul trailer. Continue reading

Hope from Despair on Yom Kippur

Centurion on Booster Overlooking the Valley of Tears

In this Support Team StudyHope from Despair on Yom Kippur, Nehemia Gordon explains how modern Israel nearly came to an end, how the hand of God turned imminent defeat into victory, and how the hope of a little-known Hebrew "saint" burns in the heart of every Jew for the coming of the King Messiah. In this episode, Nehemia also tells about the most controversial prayer he has uttered in his life! Continue reading

The Truth About Shavuot

Joshua 5:11 in the 1611 King James VersionShavuot is a biblical festival known in English as the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. Shavuot is a pilgrimage-feast, in Hebrew chag. As a chag, Shavuot is one of the three annual biblical festivals on which every male Israelite is commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple. Shavuot is also referred to in the Torah as Chag Ha-Katzir, the Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16) and Yom Ha-Bikurim, the Day of Firstfruits (Numbers 28:26). Continue reading

Shavuot Feast of Oaths (Preview)

Aside

A fragment of the Book of Jubilees from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Cave 4 at Qumran #220).This is a special preview of Nehemia Gordon's Support Team Study, Shavuot Feast of Oaths. In this study, Nehemia shares a life-changing experience he had in China and how that caused him to re-evaluate a 2,200 year old interpretation found in the Book of Jubilees. Sunrise wrote: “Thank you Nehemia, really enjoyed listening to this audio and looking forward to celebrating Feasts of Oaths from now on.” Continue reading