Passover Letters from the Elephantine Papyri

In this Support Team Study, Passover Letters from the Elephantine Papyri, Nehemia Gordon concludes his conversation with Prof. Bezalel Porten, by delving into a series of Jewish letters written in southern Egypt in the 5th century BCE. They discover that the earliest reference to Passover outside the Bible is an Aramaic letter dealing with the same problem we face today: when to do Passover! They also look at evidence of Gentiles in ancient Egypt who kept the Sabbath in fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #29 – From Slavery to Freedom

Nehemia Gordon and Rabbi Dr. Avraham J. Twerski talking about going from slavery to freedom on Hebrew Voices. In this episode of Hebrew Voices, From Slavery to Freedom, Nehemia Gordon speaks to Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski. Nehemia draws on Rabbi Twerski's vast experience as a world-renowned Rabbi and psychiatrist to explain why it is important to get out of our comfort zone in order to achieve true spirituality. The author of over 70 books and a canonical Jewish prayer sung in every synagogue, Rabbi Twerski's stature in the Jewish world parallels that of Billy Graham in the Christian world. Rabbi Twerski opens the episode singing a Psalm, shares how he once saved a man by getting a special dispensation from the Pope, and describes a practical plan to break the chains of spiritual slavery in order to attain true freedom and maximize our full potential and purpose in life. Continue reading

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