Torah Pearls #17 – Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23)

Torah Pearls Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23, Caleb, Calev, canine, didgeridoo, dog, Georgia, Jethro, Kelev, puppy, Ridgeback, Torah PearlsThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on Torah portion of Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23). This week’s program is dedicated to Nehemia’s faithful canine companion, Georgia the Rhodesian Ridgeback, who sadly passed away the day of this recording. In her honor, the trio has a fascinating discussion on the character of Caleb and the nature of canine loyalty. They also discuss Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, and challenge the common understanding of the process of Mosaic revelation. This leads to a powerful discussion of the events at Mt. Sinai and culminates in a powerful reading of the Ten Matters that will bring you to your feet. The closing music of this program was specially written in honor of Georgia. It features Yoel ben Shlomo on didgeridoo and Jono Vandor on guitar, and is entitled “Memories of Georgia”. May we all display the faithfulness of Yehovah’s servant, Caleb. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #16 – Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

Torah Pearls Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16, Egypt, Exodus, Miriam, Nuweiba, Pharaoh, Red Sea, Sinai, Song of the Sea, Torah Pearls, Yam SufThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16). We get some fascinating insights from the Hebrew in the story of the Exodus from Egypt and digs up a pearl regarding the poetic form of the Name of Yehovah.  There follows an interesting discussion of the meaning and origin of Shabbat and the understanding of Manna. 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

Torah Pearls #13 – Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

Torah Pearls Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1, burning, burning bush, bush, Egypt, Exodus, Moses, moshe, Nile, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Pharaoh, shemati, slavery, Tetragrammaton, Torah PearlsThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1). From the supposedly “well-known” stories in this portion, Gordon and Johnson clear away centuries of clutter left by mistranslations, Halacha, and Cecil B. DeMille’s version of events. In the spotlight is the burning bush scene where very clearly God revealed his one and only name to Moses. With instructions for present and future use, he left no room for misunderstanding. Gordon and Johnson explain how we got so messed up and what to do about it. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #12 – Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

Torah Pearls Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26, biblical poetry, blessing, blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, blessing Jacob’s sons, blessing twelve tribes, blessings, Double portion, Ephraim, Hebrew poetry, Jacob, Manasseh, Menasheh, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Shechem, Shiloh, swear by God’s name, Torah Pearls, Torah Portion, vayechiThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26). In the final Genesis portion, Gordon provides the cultural and geographical significance of the blessings to the 12 tribes. We learn the special inheritance given to the Levites, why their descendants are still traceable, why Reuben’s portion went to Joseph’s sons, and the significance of the “right hand.” From Jacob’s insistence that Joseph “swear” to him, we learn that the patriarchs knew God’s name and how to use it. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #11 – Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)

Torah Pearls Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27). In this climactic Portion in which Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, Gordon critically examines the Midrashic explanation for Jacob’s spirit reviving upon seeing the wagons Joseph sent for him. Does this benign example of Talmudic gymnastics portend other dangers of not being rooted solely in the word of God? The trio debate why Jacob described his 130 years on earth as “few and evil” and parse the following words and phrases: “the one you sold,” “made a father to Pharaoh,” “seventy,” “shepherds,” “silver” and “servants.” In closing, the trio rejoice that their disparate paths led to common ground and a place to witness the worldwide revival of people waking up to the truth and joining themselves to the preserved remnant. Continue reading