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

Torah Pearls Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)In this climactic episode of The Original Torah PearlsVayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and Nehemia 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

Torah Pearls #10 – Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)

In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17), we learn about the earliest manipulation of Hebrew translation in history and Joseph's plot to fulfill his own dream. Linda wrote: “Nehemia, thank you so much for your explanation for Joseph and his divining. I have wondered for years how to reconcile that issue and have asked others but never gotten an answer that seemed plausible.” Continue reading

Torah Pearls #9 – Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

Torah Pearls Vayeishev, Genesis 37:1-40:23, Torah Pearls, Nehemia Gordon, torah portion, torah, Joseph, Jacob, twelve tribes, egyptIn this episode of The Original Torah PearlsVayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23), The trio examine Joseph's dreams, Judah's indiscretions, and a selective translation agenda that would send the patriarch Jacob down into the pit of Hell. Qadry wrote: “Boy this is a strong one Nehemia! I'm definitely humbled by the real understanding of YHVH's Torah.” Continue reading

Torah Pearls #7 – Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3)

Torah Pearls Vayeitzei, Genesis 28:10-32:3, Bethel, dream, dreams, Jacob’s ladder, mandrakes, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, stone of scone, Torah Pearls, Torah Portion, vayeitzeiIn this episode of The Original Torah PearlsVayeitzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3), everything old is new again in as Gordon and crew release the vacuum-seal and allow the fresh air of language, history and context to inform Jacob’s time in Haran. Jacob’s servitude to his trickster father-in-law smells sadly familiar even in English, but the echoes of reciprocal justice appear most poignant in Hebrew. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #6 – Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, 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. 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. Jeannette wrote: “The discussion was amazing as usual. So many good Torah pearls today.” Continue reading

Torah Pearls #5 – Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18) learn about 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

Torah Pearls #4 – Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24)

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

Torah Pearls #3 – Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

In The Original Torah Pearls, Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27), we revel in the extraordinary drama of Abraham’s epic: a call from heaven, famine, war, plagues, dreadful and great darkness, bisected animals, flaming torches, battles with vultures, sister wives and kings. Then the cliffhanger—the God-who-sees promises to make an everlasting covenant with a yet-to-be-conceived son, and to make him the father of 12 princes. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #2 – Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Noach (6:9-11:32). The trio discusses the following questions and more: While Noah was a righteous man—relatively speaking—what spiritual disease was the rest of the world infected with?  Is doing what comes naturally the best answer for our bad selves? Does the post-flood diet really include the “all”-you-care-to eat buffet?  What was the sign of the curse and what is the sign of the covenant? When the whole earth spoke one language, what language was it? What are the implications of the 70 nations that sprung from Noah’s three sons? In closing, Gordon discusses the belief that Adam was a Talmudic scholar as well as other historical views concerning what we knew and when we knew it. Continue reading