Minding My Own Business – Nehemia Gordon (Open Door Series – Part 9)

In Part 9 of the Open Door Series "Minding My Own Business", Nehemia Gordon speaks about how he was minding his own business in academia when the Creator of the universe had other plans.


Minding My Own Business – Nehemia Gordon (Open Door Series – Part 9)

You are listening to the Open Door Series with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Nehemia: A little over 10 years ago, I was sitting up in the ivory tower, quite literally the ivory tower, at the Hebrew University. And they talk about the ivory towers of the university. We actually have an ivory tower at Hebrew U, and they even have the symbol of the ivory tower on the ivory tower. That’s how pompous they are at Hebrew U.

I was sitting there, minding my own business, and I was on an academic track. My plan in life was to finish my master’s degree and then go on and do a Doctorate in Biblical Studies. And the last thing I expected is that I would be standing here in front of a group of Christians and Messianics, and having little children come up and recite a Hebrew version of the Lord’s Prayer. I never expected that, never planned on that. That was beneath me. That was for the masses. I was going to be a professor. I wasn’t going to deal with simple people. [laughter]

And something happened. The God of the universe, I believe, had different plans than what I had. One day, I’m minding my own business there, and I get a call asking me to come and meet some minister from America who was a chaplain for the Vikings, or something like that, something to do with football players. I didn’t really care about that. As I was studying for my master’s degree, I had a little side job where I was doing research. I actually worked on this book, among others, the Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, and one of my jobs there was to check the texts that they were translated correctly, and then translate other texts that had never been translated in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and I worked on a few other things.

One of the side things that I did is I gave tours to VIPs that would come over to Israel from the US, because I had studied Biblical Studies and Archaeology for my bachelor’s degree, and my master’s was in Biblical Studies. So it was second nature to me to take people around ancient biblical sites, and I loved it. I love the land of Israel, and the sites of Israel. And so I would take people around the sites, just to make a little bit of extra money. They asked me to take around this chaplain, this minister, and I’m like, “All right, sure.” And they want me to come and have dinner beforehand at the Mount Zion Hotel. So I go and I meet these guys at the Mount Zion Hotel, and everybody’s sitting around and they’re telling their stories.

And then, this pastor, this Methodist pastor starts to tell his story. And he starts off the story about how he had a dream. And my response, of course, was to try very hard not to roll my eyes. [laughter] “Here’s the Christian, come to Israel and he’s had this spiritual experience.” And I’ve seen this a million times, and I’m not impressed with it. It’s certainly not something that I, as an academic, would deal with. That’s for the simple people.

And he starts to tell me how he had a dream, and in the dream… the gist of the dream is that he’s supposed to come to Israel, to Jerusalem, for Shavuot. And that caught my attention when he said, “Jerusalem for Shavuot”. I didn’t let on at the time, but it did catch my attention. And the reason it caught my attention is that there’s something special about coming to Jerusalem, of all places, for Shavuot, because in the Torah there are three pilgrimage feasts, three chagim, say, “Chagim.”

Audience: Chagim.

Nehemia: Chagim, chag is a pilgrimage feast. It’s where you come up to the place of the Temple three times a year. It says, “All males shall appear before Me,” in the Torah, in a number of places. And so, he having a dream, telling him to come to Jerusalem for Shavuot, I said, “Well, that’s interesting. But then again, he’s a Christian pastor, a Methodist. God doesn’t speak to those people.” [laughter] This is certainly the paradigm that I was raised with - that there is a person who’s unkosher, and I’m not going to be dealing with somebody like that. And certainly, God isn’t going to.

And he tells me this story about how he had the dream telling him to come to Israel for Shavuot, to Jerusalem. Then the next part of the story made absolutely no sense to me, I thought it was completely ridiculous. He tells me how he was called by God to get a Torah scroll. Now, Torah scrolls cost tens of thousands of dollars. And so I hear him say that he got a Torah scroll, and he tells me this story, how he goes to a West Bank settlement, so-called West Bank settlement, a peaceful little Jewish town in what they call the West Bank. [laughter] You’re laughing, but if you go to what they call the West Bank settlements, they’re peaceful little Jewish towns, suburbia.

So he gets this Torah scroll and he tells me this story how they give him the Torah scroll and he doesn’t pay any money for it. They say, “You can pay for it later.” And I have this picture in my head of what happened. I know exactly what happened. He got one of these cute little toy Torah scrolls that they sell for like $10, maybe $30 if it’s very fancy, printed on the bottom of… what do you call those things, the sticks of the Torah scroll it says, “Made in China”. [laughter] No, I’m serious. And I think this thing is printed on white paper, and it’s very cheap, and that must be what they gave him. And that’s why they said, “You don’t have to pay for it now, you’ll pay for it later,” because they think he’s a frier. Frier is a very important Israeli concept, say, “Frier”.

Audience: Frier.

Nehemia:Frier” translates roughly as a sucker. [laughter] So I’m sure this guy is a frier, and he convinces me to go over and see his Torah scroll, his little toy, cute thing that he’s dancing around with, I think. And I go and I walk in, and this is what I see. And I look at this thing, and I can see already, because the cover is laying on top of it, so I can see at the sides, peeking out from behind the cover, that this is actual parchment. And I realize, “This is not a little toy made in China Torah scroll. This is the real deal.”

And what I see on the front cover really impresses me. It says here, it’s a verse from Isaiah chapter 2. And it’s a verse that talks about people from all the nations flowing to Jerusalem, the word is “naharu”, which means “they’ll flow like a river” to Jerusalem. And then it explains here why they flow to Jerusalem. It says, “Ki miTzion tetzeh Torah u’dvar Yehovah miYerushalayim”. “For the Torah shall go forth from Zion, and the word of Yehovah from Jerusalem.” And so he’s come to Jerusalem to get a Torah scroll, and it says the verse, that his actions are a fulfilment of. I mean, his actions are a fulfilment of this prophesy, and the prophesy is on the Torah scroll.

Well, then I open up the Torah scroll, I unroll it, and what do I read? And I’m not even thinking about what I’m reading, I’m just reading the Hebrew. And I start reading, and he asks me, “What are you reading?” And it turns out that this is the section in Leviticus 23 on Shavuot, on the Feast of Weeks. Now, you have to understand, this is 10 years ago, when I’m sitting in the ivory tower, minding my own business. So this guy over there, Keith Johnson, he is, “woo-hoo!” He’s like dancing around, and he’s bouncing off the walls. And I’m like, “That’s very interesting. Maybe it’s a coincidence”. [laughter] But at the same time, deep down, I started to wonder, “What is going on? What’s God doing here, what’s going on? This guy comes to Jerusalem, he gets the Torah scroll. What is happening here?”

And let’s look at this prophesy in Isaiah, and you’ll see why I was having these questions. Isaiah chapter 2 verse 2, it says, “It shall come to pass at the end of days, that the Temple Mount shall be established above the mountains, and shall be lifted above hills. And all the nations shall flow to it, they’ll come like a river.” Then in verse 3 it says, “And many nations shall go saying, ‘Let us go up to the mountain of Yehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. And he will teach us.’” And that word, “teach us” is really two words, “yore-nu”, say, “Yore”.

Audience: Yore.

Nehemia: Nu.

Audience: Nu.

Nehemia: “Nu” means “us”. “Yore” is, “He will teach”. But it’s also the root of the word “Torah”, so “Yorenu” is, “He will teach us Torah”. So this is what the nations are saying, “He will teach us Torah from His ways, and we will walk in His paths, for the Torah shall go forth from Zion,” that’s the words that were on the Torah scroll, “and the word of Yehovah from Jerusalem.”

So I’m reading this and I’m saying, “Wait a minute. It’s talking about the nations coming and getting the Torah,” and that wasn’t the way I had understood things. I was raised up in the Rabbinical tradition, and we were taught that the Torah is for the Jews, for the remnant of the people of Israel, the Jewish people. And the Gentiles… it’s not really for them. And we didn’t talk about things like salvation, or not salvation. We just said, “This is for us, it’s this treasure we have. We’re not going to share it. This is our gold. Stay away.” [laughter]

And then I read this verse, and I’m looking at a fulfilment of this verse - a man who has fulfilled this verse through his actions, and I’m thinking, “Wait a minute. Maybe this word of God is for this man.” But back then, the reason I struggled with this is that I’m what’s called a Litvak Jew. Say, “Litvak”.

Audience: Litvak.

Nehemia: Litvaks are Jews who came from Eastern Europe, from Lithuania. Litvak is the Yiddish pronunciation of someone who comes from Lithuania. And the Litvak Jews, the Jews of Lithuania, they were the intellectual elite of the Jewish world, up until the Holocaust. And if you have any question about it, just ask the Litvak rabbi and he’ll tell you that it’s true, [laughter] that in fact, they, to this day, are considered the intellectual elite. And as the intellectual elite, one of the things that I was taught is that we don’t deal with anything that’s too spiritual, or dreams, or miracles or things like that. That’s for the simple people. You could see why I fit in so well at the university. It was the same attitude, that we have this knowledge, we have this information, so we don’t need any of that inspiration. And that’s why I think I had so much trouble accepting that somebody like Keith Johnson was having this miracle happen to him, and why I came up with every explanation except for that this was a miracle of God, because I was thinking, “No, that doesn’t happen to Methodist pastors. That’s not how God works. And in today’s age, we don’t really have miracles anyway. When the Messiah comes, He’ll re-establish all of that. That was for the ancient times and for the future, but here in the middle, we just have the information to keep us company.”

And here, there’s actually a verse in Scripture that talks about this, that quotes the Litvak Jews. Did you know that? That the Litvak Jews appear in the Bible? Now, the prophesy in Isaiah chapter 2 verses 2 to 4 appears almost word for word in Micah 4, 2 through 4. But then Micah adds the response of the people of his day. And the people of his day, they were Litvaks. And here’s what they said. They said, “Surely, all the nations shall walk, each in the name of his god. But we will walk in the name of Yehovah, our God, for ever and ever.” And what they were saying, what they were responding to this prophesy of all the nations flowing to Jerusalem to be taught the word of God is, “No, those Gentiles, they have no part in this. They can’t be part of this. We don’t want to share this with them. This is our golden treasure. We don’t want them to have any part of it. They can have their gods. I don’t even know what the Methodist god is, they can have it. But that’s got nothing to do with our God of Israel.” And that was, to some extent, the way I looked at it.

And what happened is, I met more and more people that shook the foundations of this conception that I had, of this concept that I had. Here is one of the places that shook the foundations of that misconception that I had. This is a place called the Shrine of the Book. I like to call this place, the Jot and Tittle Museum. And the reason I call it the Jot and Tittle Museum is that in this place - this is part of the Israel Museum - they have two things on display. One is the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the other is what’s called the Aleppo Codex, which is called the Crown Jewel of Hebrew Manuscripts. They call it the “Keter haram tzovah”, the Aleppo Crown, because it’s considered the ultimate Hebrew manuscript that preserves the minute points of Scripture. And, you know, 2,000 years ago there was a man who talked about “not one jot or one tittle passing away from the Torah”. Do you know who said that?

Audience: Yes.

Nehemia: And the place where these jots and tittles are preserved is in this museum, the Jot and Tittle Museum. And one of my dreams in life was to get into the museum and be able to see this. This is the Aleppo Codex, as I said, the crown jewel. Now, anybody can walk in and see what you see in this photograph here. But what they don’t know, and I what I learned at the university, is that in fact, only the top two pages are real. The rest of the pages, the ones on the side, those are preserved in a secret vault that I’m not allowed to tell you where it is. But they’re preserved in a secret vault, and the reason for that is that they’re afraid, this being the Middle East – not here, but where the Jot and Tittle Museum is located – being the Middle East, they’re afraid someone will walk in and blow it up. And it’s too important, it’s irreplaceable. So what they’ve done is taken the top two pages, and everything here on the side, that is what I call a fake. Keith doesn’t like me calling it a fake. He prefers me referring to it as a replica.

So everything here on the side is a replica, only these top two pages are real, and the rest of it is in the vault. And so one of my dreams in life, one of my aspirations, studying at the university, was to get into the vault and see the original. And that’s because, as I mentioned, although I was born and raised in Illinois, deep down in my heart I’m from Missouri, and I need to see it for myself. And if you go and you take any Bible in the world, any translation of the Old Testament, of the Tanakh, into English, it’s based on this manuscript, on the Aleppo Codex. And when I have any Hebrew printing, you know, I have a dozen different Hebrew printings of the Old Testament, of the Tanakh, in my house, every one of them goes back to the Aleppo Codex.

So me, being from Missouri in my heart, I needed to get into that vault and see the original for myself. And this was a dream that I thought would never happen. I thought, “How am I ever going to get in there?” They don’t let people in there, it’s not on display. They’re too afraid that someone will blow it up or damage it.

Well, one day, this Methodist pastor, Keith Johnson calls me up, after I had met him about a year earlier, and he tells me over the phone, he says, “I have this important guest who wants to come to Israel. He wants to have a similar experience to what I had, and his name is Reggie White.” And I say, “Who’s that?” He’s some football player who won the Superbowl, or something like that. And so I look him up online. Okay, it sounds very impressive, but I’ve never watched a Superbowl in my life. I’m not into sports.

And I say, “Okay, I’ll take him on a tour.” And I take him around the country, and he actually stays with Michael, and we had some interactions there. But I end up taking him to see two things. That was the main part of his visit, he wanted to see two things. One is, he wanted to go and see the Hebrew manuscripts of Matthew. That was one of the things that we did that day, and that was no problem whatsoever. Anybody can go in and see those if you know what to look for.

The second thing was a little bit more of a challenge. The second thing he wanted to see - he had been studying Scripture, and he also had been looking for the sources. He had been preaching for years in his off-season. They used to call him the Minister of Defense. And as the Minister of Defense, he was preaching this standard, out-of-the-box messages that he was told to preach.

When he retired from football, he told me that he wanted to become as great a minister, a preacher, as he had been a football player. And he didn’t become such a great football player by accident. A lot of it had to do with just born talent, but it also had to do with determination and working hard. And he said, “I’m going to work as hard at becoming a minister, as a preacher, as I was a football player.” And he started to read the Bible. And what he was looking for is the source of all those sermons he had been preaching over the years, and he couldn’t find them. And then he thought, “Well, maybe if I go back to the original language, I’ll find them.” And so he started to actually study Hebrew. One of the things he had heard about from Keith, who let it out of the bag, was about this Aleppo Codex, and specifically, that the one on display isn’t the real one.

So Reggie, I speak with him on the phone, and he says in this deep voice he has - and Keith can do his voice so much better - but he says in this deep voice that he wants us to see the original Aleppo Codex, not the replica on display, but the one in the vault. And so, all right, what do I do? I call up the people at the Jot and Tittle Museum, and I say to them, “Can we get into the vault?” And I do what they call the PR thing. I say, “There’s this famous football player…” who I’ve never heard of, “coming from America, and he wants to see the original Aleppo Codex.” And they say to me, “No problem, it’s on display at the Shrine of the Book. Anybody can come in and see it.” And I say to them, “No, not the replica. He wants to see the one in the vault.” Then there’s silence on the other end of the phone. And the guy’s thinking, “How does he know about this? It’s a secret.”

Well, the guy says, “No way. No go.” He said, “Ariel Sharon,” who was the prime minister at the time, “couldn’t get in here to see it. It’s not for tourists. This isn’t a joke. This isn’t a game. We don’t let people in to see it. It’s a national treasure that’s not available for people, for the general public.” And I said, “Okay, I did the best I could,” and I hung up the phone. I tried. All you could do is the best you can.

About an hour later, I get a call from that guy’s boss. And it turns out that one of his big donors is a huge football fan. And he says, “Not only can you come in to see the vault, but I’ll take you there personally to show it to you.” And this is how I ended up in the vault, seeing the original Aleppo Codex. This is me, about 80 pounds ago, and this is Reggie, of blessed memory, and here’s the original Aleppo Codex. The guy’s got the white gloves, he can’t touch it directly because the acid on his hand will damage the paper, the parchment. It needs to last another 1,000, or 2,000 years.

And this was one of the high points of my life - getting in to see this Aleppo Codex in the vault. You probably can’t see the excitement on my Litvak face, but it’s there. [laughter] But you know, Reggie and Keith and others like them coming to Israel and interacting with them made me start to think, “What is going on here?” My conception was what it said in Micah, “We’ve got our God, they’ve got their god. Never the twain shall meet. You’ve got no part with us.” And as I’m interacting with more and more people and I’m seeing their love for the word of God, and they have the same love for the word of God that I have, I’m thinking, “Something’s happening here.” Let me share a little bit about my past that opened me up to this.

Does anybody know what this is, if you show the slide? What is that? What does that represent? Can somebody tell me?

Woman: It’s a Star of David.

Nehemia: Yeah, we know it’s the Star of David on a chain, you’re not blind, okay. But what’s the significance of that? And if you don’t know, then you’re not a Jew who grew up in the 1980s. When I was growing up, this was the symbol of the day. Every synagogue had this emblazoned on the front of the synagogue. And this was the symbol, it was part of something called Operation Exodus, which was a program to free the Jews of the Soviet Union. There were millions of Jews behind the Iron Curtain who were being suppressed, who could not express their Judaism, who were being arrested if they went to the synagogue, who were being taught that there’s no God, that the world exists through random happenstance, and if they believed differently, they’ll end up in a gulag in Siberia.

So this was the big thing of my childhood. I used to go to protests to free the Soviet Jews. What happened in 1990 is the Soviet Union fell, and there began this huge flood of Jews, this influx of Jews, 1.1 million Jews came out of the Soviet Union between 1990 and 2000.

And okay, wow, that’s so amazing. But you have to understand, when I was growing up in the ‘80s, this was something that we dreamed of when the Messiah comes, the Jews will be free. And it’s something that’s been fulfilled in my lifetime. I mean, even a Litvak can’t look at that and say that God doesn’t do miracles in this time, in this era. That was a miracle of Biblical proportion. [applause]

And then, about a year later, this happened, or about the same time, actually… can we see this slide here? This was the Jews of Ethiopia who had been there in exile for 2,000 years, living in mud huts and villages without electricity. And I remember, back then it was May of 1991, and I was in my year just after high school, and I went to Israel, not to move, I mean, I didn’t immigrate there, but I went there just for one year to volunteer on a kibbutz. And part of my lifelong dream before I went to university was to be a dirt farmer. The reason I wanted to be a dirt farmer is, I read in the Bible about my ancestors, the Israelites, who were farmers, and I said, “Okay, I want to be a farmer.” And of course, my thinking, growing up as a city slicker in Chicago is, “You don’t need to go to university to be a farmer. Even though everybody in my family went to college, I’m going to be the first one not to go to college, because what do I need to go to college for to be a farmer?”

Little did I know that Israel has some of the highest tech agriculture in the world. But anyway, that year, I was a dirt farmer, and I worked the fields. I literally got up at 4:30 in the morning, drove out in a tractor into the fields, and most of what I did had to do with irrigation technologies. And one day, I’m standing there alone in this field and I see a mobile home driving by, on the highway. And I’m like, “That’s a strange thing.” You might see that in Texas, and New Mexico, [laughter] but that’s a very uncommon, a double-wide trailer coming by in the back of a truck in northern Israel, you don’t see that. And then, a few minutes later, there was another one, and another one, and then there was a whole line of these trailers coming by. And I heard on the news that night that… there was a communist regime in Ethiopia that would not let the Jews leave, and the regime fell, and the people of Israel didn’t know if that vacuum that was created by the fall of the government would last three days or three minutes. And they sent over hundreds of planes to get the Jews out of Ethiopia, and they brought out tens of thousands of Jews. And what I was seeing, the line of the double-wide trailers was where they were going to settle them that day. And that is a miracle of Biblical proportions. [applause]

And this is actually a miracle foretold in the Book of Jeremiah, literally. It says, “’The days are coming,’ says Yehovah, ‘that it shall no longer be said: As Yehovah lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt.’” That’s how they used to make vows. They would say, “I swear as Yehovah, who brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, lives.” That was their vows. He said, “No longer will they say that. But rather, as Yehovah lives, who brought up the children from the land of the north…” Someone say, “Soviet Union”.

Audience: Soviet Union.

Nehemia: “…and from all the lands where He had driven them, for I will bring them back into their land which I gave them to their fathers.” We’ve literally seen the fulfilment of this prophesy from thousands of years ago. You know, when Jeremiah said this 2,600 years ago, people must have thought he was insane. The Babylonians are battering down the gates of Jerusalem, and he’s talking about the return of the exiles? And then, later on they were in shackles, being taken away as captives to Babylon. And he’s talking about how those captives will return. That must have seemed like a fantasy. They must have thought he was crazy.

But in our lifetimes - well, not for you young people – but in our lifetimes, this has been fulfilled, literally. And as I was seeing these things, I began to think, “Here’s another prophesy, Isaiah 14:1.” It says, “When Yehovah has mercy upon Jacob and once again chooses Israel, placing them in their land, the strangers shall join themselves to them and shall be added to the house of Jacob”. Woo! [applause]

Now, here’s the really exciting thing. The phrase, “Shall join themselves,” those three words, “Shall join themselves,” in Hebrew, “shall join” actually is one word, “venilvah”. Now, “venilvah” is from the same root as the word Levite. And if you look at the story of how Levi, the son of Leah, got his name, she talks about joining herself to her husband. So what it’s saying here is that the strangers shall “Levite themselves”, be added to the house of Jacob. Now, this is a Biblical prophesy that I think I’m increasingly seeing around the world being fulfilled. I’m seeing people like the Methodist pastor and the football player and people who I would never think have any portion with the house of Jacob, with my people, they’re coming and they’re telling me, they love the Torah. [applause]

I once asked Keith how he got drawn to the Torah. And he usually doesn’t share this story, because maybe it’s not very sexy. But the story he tells, the story he told me, is that he saw a Torah scroll, and when he went to touch it he broke into tears. And what brought him to the Torah is he couldn’t understand why he broke into tears. What was it? There was something there. And I believe it was the God of Israel drawing him in. You know, we read in Isaiah 56 about how God gathers the dispersed of Israel, and it says in verse 8, “I will gather others unto those who I have gathered”. And I believe people like Keith and Reggie and many others around the world on every continent – and I mean, literally on every continent, including Antarctica, because I met a guy from Antarctica, and I saw it’s true – are being drawn to the God of Israel. And they can’t explain why. You know, they shake the family tree, waiting for a Jew to fall out, [laughter] and nothing falls out. There’s no one in their heritage that they can find that’s Jewish. And you know what? I don’t think you have to invent a Jewish ancestor, because God is drawing people. He’s gathering people. And if you feel that feeling in your heart - unless you had bad pizza last night, and that’s heartburn - then that is the God of Israel drawing you into His covenant, gathering you, just as He gathered those people out of Russia, and gathered those people out of Ethiopia. And there are stories of this ingathering that are unbelievable.

You know, when they went to get the Jews of Yemen, they sent these airplanes, and the people had never seen airplanes. I mean, literally, they’d never seen airplanes. These were people who were living in the 12th century. I think the people left behind in Yemen are still living in the 12th century. But these were people who technologically were living literally in the 12th century. That was the level of technology they had. They’d never seen airplanes, so they told the people, “We’re going to take you to the Land of Israel on magic carpets.” That’s what they said, and they actually called it, Operation Magic Carpet, because the people didn’t understand, “You’re going to take us, and you’re going to fly us thousands of miles to the land that we read about in the Bible, to the land of our ancestors? That’s not possible. We have to go on camels, and stop every day to get water.” And they told them, “No, we’re going to take you on magic carpets. Come and you’ll see.” And that was back in the ‘50s, and this is an ongoing process of the people being drawn back to the land. This is a fulfilment of prophesy, not in some metaphorical, symbolic sense, but literally, these things are being fulfilled.

In Zechariah 8:23, Keith brought this over Shavuot in Dallas. “Thus says Yehovah of hosts, ‘In those days, 10 men of all the languages of the nations shall grab hold of the corner of a garment of a Jewish man saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” Now, Keith brought this verse over Shavuot, and talked about how there was an opportunity to grab hold of my suit jacket here. Now, a couple of the people watching online, somebody say, “morons”. [laughter]

A couple of people, most people got it, but there were a few people watching online who saw this and said, “Oh, Keith is proclaiming Nehemia to be the Messiah.” Morons. [laughter] No, seriously. Let me share with you a little technical detail, put the inspiration aside and talk information. There’s something in Hebrew called the collective singular, say, “collective singular”.

Audience: Collective singular.

Nehemia: Collective singular is this concept, it’s actually in all Semitic languages, but in Hebrew, as well. And the idea of the collective singular is, if you want to refer to an entire category, you refer to the one. And so for example, when God created the birds, it says, literally in Hebrew, “And God created bird”. Now, in English, it translates it as “birds”, because English doesn’t have a collective singular, but Hebrew does. So when you see that singular, it’s the category of bird.

And I love this example, it’s an example in Exodus where it talks about how God, through Moses, brings the plague of the frogs. And it said, “And a frog ascended over Egypt”. And actually, the rabbis, I think half-jokingly, say that there was a giant frog [laughter] and then it split up into millions of tiny frogs. No, but really, that’s an example of the collective singular, and it means the category of frogs came over Egypt, not a singular frog. And when it says, “The Jewish man” there, it doesn’t mean a specific Jewish man named Nehemia Gordon, or Bill Rabinowitz. It means the category of the Jew, and not literally, 10 Gentiles, but that 10 different languages, meaning many different languages, the category of Gentiles. That’s what it’s talking about. And what it’s talking about is the joining of the Gentile and the Jew saying, “Let’s go together to the God of Israel, and understand this God of Israel, and look in the oracles of God and see what He has for us to say, what He has for us to do, what He’s telling us to live by.” That’s what I think it’s about.

Zephaniah 3:9 is one of my favorite verses. It says, “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language.” Say, “pure language”.

Audience: Pure language.

Nehemia: “…that they may all call upon the name of Yehovah to serve Him with one accord.” What is that pure language?

Audience: Hebrew.

Nehemia: How do you know it’s Hebrew? Look, I’m the Litvak. You can’t just tell me, “Oh, well. I feel in my heart, spiritually it’s Hebrew.” You could say that if you want, but I don’t buy it. I need solid evidence, proof. That’s what being a Litvak is about. Show me. The people from Missouri, they’re Litvaks.

So how do I know that the original language, the pure language, is the original language, Hebrew? Well, Genesis 11:1 says, “And the whole earth was one language.” And I know that’s Hebrew, not because I just feel it deep in my heart - I can prove to you from Scripture. My book, The Hebrew Yeshua vs the Greek Jesus talks about this a little bit. Actually, I don’t think it does, but it’s a good book, anyway. [laughter]

Oh, I know why I brought that; because I have examples there of Hebrew word puns that show you that the name Adam and the name Eve, that those only make sense in Hebrew when you hear the explanation for the name. Remember, “Yeshua” and “Yoshia” from before? That that only made sense in Hebrew? Same thing with Adam and Eve, and so I’ve brought other examples here. Their son, Cain, in Hebrew is “Kayin”, say, “Kayin”.

Audience: Kayin.

Nehemia: And why is he called “Kayin?” Because Eve said, “I created a man with Yehovah,” that’s what it literally says in Hebrew. And the word for “I created”, those two words is “kaniti”. Say, “kaniti”.

Audience: Kaniti.

Nehemia: So he’s called “Kayin” because she said, “kaniti”, “I created”. Okay, that’s the name “Kayin”. It may coincidentally work in some language like, I don’t know, Tagalog, but if you look at all of the examples, they only work collectively in Hebrew.

Let’s look at another example. And why am I bringing this? This is before God mixed up the languages, when there was one single language. So what language was that? It had to be Hebrew. Seth, the second son third, or the third son, is in Hebrew, “Shet”. Say, “Shet”.

Audience: Shet.

Nehemia: And why is he called “Shet?” Because his mother says, “For God appointed for me another descendant.” And the word “appointed” is “sha’at”, “He appointed”. Say, “sha’at”.

Audience: Sha’at.

Nehemia: So why is he called “Shet?” Because sha’at, “God appointed for me”. All of these examples only work in Hebrew. Here’s another one, “Hevel”. The name, Hevel, it doesn’t say he’s called Hevel for this reason, but it’s obvious when you read the story. The name Hevel means “vanity, emptiness”. And why is he called that? Because he had no continuation.

Nimrod is my favorite example. His name means “let us rebel”. Why do you think Nimrod was called that? Maybe because we pronounce the… well anyway, his name is actually “Nimrohd”, and if you pronounce it “Nimrod”, that’s kind of a nimrod thing to do. [laughter] But “Nimrohd” was called that because… why? Because apparently, at the Tower of Babel he said, “Hey, let’s rebel against God, the Creator of the universe. Let’s build a tower and go up to heaven.” And at that point, God said, “Okay, enough of Hebrew being for everybody. I’m going to mix up the languages now.”

And the prophesy of Zephaniah 3:9 is that the curse of Babel will be undone, and in the end times, all mankind will revert to having one language. And not only that, but they’ll have that language so they can call upon Him… Oh, I’ve got to bring this. They can call upon Him with one accord. The noble donkey, isn’t he cute? Now, why do I bring this picture? You know, this prophesy of all mankind having one language… in order for that to be fulfilled, we’ve got to start off with, I think, the people of Israel speaking that language, and that’s something that we take for granted today.

There are millions of people around the world today that Hebrew is their native tongue, but that was not always the case. Go back to before 1880, and there wasn’t a single human being that spoke Hebrew as their native language, not a single person on earth. And there was a man with a dream named Eliezer Ben Yehuda, and he said, “I’m going to bring this language back to life.” And he went on a boat in 1880 to Israel with his wife, who didn’t speak a word of Hebrew, and as they were pulling into the port of Jaffa, he said to her, “These are the last words I will speak to you in German.” That was the language they spoke in his house. “Henceforth, we shall only speak Hebrew.” She learned very quickly. [laughter] When their son was born, his name was Ben Zion, “Son of Zion”, and he was the first person in modern times to speak Hebrew as a native language, as the first language. And in fact, his father, Eliezer, made his mother take a vow that she would never speak to him in any language but Hebrew. He grew up speaking Hebrew as his only language. Later, he learned other languages, but he grew up speaking Hebrew. And today, there are generation after generation of people who speak Hebrew as their native tongue.

Now, I didn’t grow up speaking Hebrew. I grew up speaking this weird Germanic language which is a mix of something from the Anglos, and the French, and it’s called English. Have you heard of it? [laughter] But I grew up reading Hebrew; I was taught to read the Hebrew alphabet alongside the English alphabet, in kindergarten, if I’m not mistaken, but I couldn’t really understand everything. Over the years, I learned more and more, but at one point in my education, my father decided to take me out of the school that was what’s called a Zionist school…

Do you all know what Zionists are? Zionists are Jews who believe that the land of Israel belongs to God’s people, and that we are to live in it if we have the opportunity. And so I was going to a Zionist school, and my father said, “I’m going to take him out and put him in the Ultra-Orthodox school.” My grandmother, who came from Lithuania, she was a Hebrew teacher, and she was livid about this. She was so upset. She said, “If you take him and send him to that school, which is more religious, he’ll have less knowledge of Hebrew.”

Well, after about a year or two in that school, my grandmother was trying to convince my mother to pull me out of the school, send me back to the Zionist school, and to prove that I needed to go back to the Zionist school, she was saying, “Look, your son isn’t learning Hebrew, and this is the language of our people. He’s learning all kinds of rules and regulations and traditions, but he’s not really learning the Hebrew language like he should be.” And my father wanted to prove her wrong, and so he cracked open the Book of Genesis, pointed to a random verse and asked me to translate it. And it just so happens that it came up to be this verse, and I translated it. Genesis 34:4. It said, “And Sh’chem said to his father, ‘Chamor.’” Now, in the English you’ll see a “Shekem” and “Hamor”, but it’s pronounced “Sh’chem”, say, “Sh’chem”.

Audience: Sh’chem.

Nehemia: And chamor. Say, “chamor.”

Audience: Chamor.

Nehemia: Well, I read this verse, and my knowledge of Hebrew was so limited that I didn’t read it correctly. I translated each word by itself, and then put the words together. I basically translated it literally, and because of that, I read it as, “And shoulder said to his father, ‘Donkey.’” [laughter] True story. You know, I knew how to translate the words, but I didn’t know how to translate the sentence. And it took quite a few years of study before I got to that point, but actually, it’s very interesting because the word “sh’chem” means “shoulder”. But it’s also the name of a city in northern Israel, and what’s the English name of that city? Can somebody tell me?

Audience: Shekem.

Nehemia: Well, Shekhem, yeah, but that’s the English pronunciation. No, Nablus. Nablus is the Arabic name for it, but they usually refer to it in English as Nablus. So that’s “Sh’chem,” or “Shekem”. And “Chamor” was this guy’s father, and his father’s name meant “donkey”. And why was his name “donkey?” He was probably really a stubborn guy.

And the way that I learned to speak Hebrew, when I went to Israel and volunteered on that kibbutz, I couldn’t put together a single sentence of Hebrew. By that point, I was much older and I could read the Torah fluently without any problem. But the way I learned to actually be able to speak Hebrew is I was out there in the fields…

Now, one of the things you’ll find in Israel is, most Israelis want to speak to you in English. They love the English language, and if they can improve their English, they can advance in their careers. So while you’re trying to learn Hebrew, they’re trying to learn English. That’s what happens. And so you try to speak to them and they won’t go for it. Well, I was really, really blessed when I went to Israel and was on that kibbutz, because the man who was my boss out there in the field, the supervisor, he was from New York. And so the entire year, he only said to me two things in English, one of them was a dirty joke that I won’t tell you. Maybe I should tell it? [laughter] No. But the rest of the year, he only spoke to me in Hebrew, and this was very difficult for me, at first. He would just start yelling at me in Hebrew.

And let’s see this slide over here. This is what I was facing, a pile of irrigation pipes, and he started yelling at me, “Kakh et hatzinorot vetasim otam sham.” And I’m like, “Whaaat? I’m just an American. I only speak one language.” “Kakh et hatzinorot vetasim otam sham.” And he would just keep doing it, saying that until I did it. And what is he asking me to do? As he’s saying this, “Kakh et hatzinorot vetasim otam sham,” I remember from reading the Bible this… Does anybody know what this is? This is called Warren’s Shaft, and it’s actually mentioned in the Book of Samuel and in Chronicles, where it talks about David capturing the City of Jerusalem. And he says, “The first person to ascend the tzinor…” say, “tzinor”.

Audience: Tzinor.

Nehemia: “He will be given this reward,” and the person who did that as Joab, or Yoav. And by going up the tzinor they were able to capture the city. Well, archaeologists have realized that what he’s talking about is this thing over here. This is Warren’s Shaft, and it was essentially a way for the Canaanites to get water during a siege. And they thought, “Well, this is perfectly safe, because nobody could possibly climb up this,” but Joab figured a way to get up it. And the Hebrew word for this is “tsinor”. Say, “tsinor”.

Audience: Tzinor.

Nehemia: And he was yelling at me, “Take the tzinorot, these things, and move them over there.” Now, there were no shafts out there in the fields, but I realized after he said it about 40 times, that “Oh, in ancient Hebrew, it was a shaft for drawing up water. In modern Hebrew, it’s an aluminum pipe.” That’s what happens. They take a word… like nobody builds water shafts anymore like that. Now, they have pipes. And so that was the modern meaning of the word. And about six months after I was working in those fields getting yelled at, day in and day out… he’s a New Yorker, what do you expect? [laughter] And eventually, I was able to not only understand, I was able to speak, and about six months there of working in the fields, I had something that made me realize, “Wow, God has blessed me greatly.”

What happened to me is, I had a dream, and in the dream, I was speaking Hebrew. And the reason that was significant is that whenever I spoke Hebrew before that, I would have to translate in my head what I wanted to say, and then say it in Hebrew. And then somebody would say something to me in Hebrew, and I would translate it back into English. And in the dream, there was no translation. It was just in Hebrew.

So this prophesy of Zephaniah 3:9, God’s people, the people of Israel are now learning to speak His language. Generation after generation are going back to the pure tongue. The other part of the prophesy talks about, it says that they all may call on the name of Yehovah to serve Him with one accord. And that phrase, “one accord”, is really interesting, because one accord, it literally says, “one sh’chem”. Say, “sh’chem”.

Audience: Sh’chem.

Nehemia: And you remember what sh’chem means, in addition…?

Audience: Shoulder.

Nehemia: It means shoulder, exactly. And what does it mean, “To serve Yehovah with one shoulder?” What it means is that back in the Tower of Babel, they came together. They were standing shoulder-to-shoulder, saying, “Let us build this. Nimrod - let us rebel against the God of creation. Let us build this together standing shoulder-to-shoulder.” And God is saying in this prophesy, in the end time, when He restores that language, we won’t come together to build something for our name, to build our name. We’ll come together for His name, to call upon His name.

And here’s really, for me, a picture of fulfilment of this prophesy - Me and Keith standing together, shoulder-to-shoulder, calling upon the name of Yehovah. [applause] Now, I know there’s a moron out there watching on cyberspace who’s going to say, “Nehemia has proclaimed Keith to be the Messiah.” [laughter] Lest you think that, what I’m saying is, this is a picture for people to emulate, not that I’m something special, or Keith is something special - although Georgia thinks I’m quite special, my dog - but that this is simply a picture of the fulfilment of prophesy, and it’s one that can be repeated. It’s one that can then spread throughout the entire world, where all mankind is standing together, shoulder-to-shoulder, not to build up our own names, but to build up His name. May it be soon.

I’m going to close with this, which is a verse from Genesis chapter 12 verse 3. And it says, “Venivrechu vecha kol mishpakhot ha’adamah,” which means, “And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.” And the Hebrew phrase, “will be blessed”, those Hebrew words is the one Hebrew word, “venivrechu”. Can you say, “venivrechu?

Audience: Venivrechu.

Nehemia: You know, I don’t feel like you’re really… Let’s do it again, “venivrechu”.

Audience: Venivrechu.

Nehemia: All right, you’re working with me. Excellent. So “venivrechu”, now who is this said to? It was said to Abraham, who back then was known as Abram. Somebody say, “first witness”.

Audience: First witness.

Nehemia: This verse appears almost word for word a second time, in Genesis 18:18. It says, “Venivrechu vo kol goyei ha’aretz”. “And in him all the nations,” instead of families, “all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” And again, it’s “venivrechu”. Say, “venivrechu”.

Audience: Venivrechu.

Nehemia: Somebody say, “second witness”.

Audience: Second witness.

Nehemia: It appears with a slightly different wording. Instead of “venivrechu”, it’s “vehitbarachu”. I won’t confuse you by making you say that, but it’s another form of the same word. Genesis 22:18 again, third time, now to Abraham. “And in your descendants, all of the nations of the earth will be blessed.” And again, it’s the same root, which is three Hebrew letters, the letters Bet, say, “Bet”.

Audience: Bet.

Nehemia: Reish.

Audience: Reish.

Nehemia: Khaf.

Audience: Khaf.

Nehemia: Now, those three Hebrew letters come from the word “berekh“. Remember, I mentioned how Hebrew starts off with concrete concepts which then become abstract? The concrete concept here, or term, is “berekh”. This is a berekh, a knee. Say, “knee”.

Audience: Knee.

Nehemia: So if you want to translate it literally, “And your descendants, in all the nations of the earth will be kneed,” or something to do with knees. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, if you translate it literally. But the concept of blessed comes from the knee. Now, originally when somebody would kneel down before God, or a king, and bless them, that’s how we got the term for blessing, because they were on their knees. And when a father would bless his son, he would put his little son on his knee and bless him, and that’s how it’s connected to knee. But that’s not quite what’s going on here, because how is it that all the families of the earth are blessed through Abraham and his descendants?

Let’s look at a few more verses. Genesis 26:14, this blessing is passed on to Isaac. Somebody say, “not Ishmael”.

Audience: Not Ishmael.

Nehemia: Is passed on to Isaac, and it says, “Vahitbarchu b’zarkha kol goyei ha’aretz”. “And in your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed”. Somebody say, “fourth witness”.

Audience: Fourth witness.

Nehemia: Fifth witness, “venivrechu…” again, “venivrekhu bekha kol mishpakhot ha’adamah u’vezareicha.” “And in you and your descendants, all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Five times, we have this prophesy. Is this something important, or some trivial thing? I think it’s important if it’s mentioned five times.

Well, here’s what it means. Before I get to that, should I bring that? All right, I want to bring that. This was something that a Messianic rabbi told me down in Florida, a rabbi named Ira Michaelson. Hi, Ira. He told me this explanation, and I thought, “Oh, that’s some stupid Christian thing. He’s bringing his baggage from all those years of being influenced by that stuff.” But then I thought, “Okay, I’m going to go and investigate and see if this is actually the case.” And what I found - and I’ll tell you in a minute what I’m talking about – what I found is that the rabbis talk about their understanding of what it means for all the families of the earth to be blessed. And here’s what they said, it’s in the Talmud.

They quote this verse. It says, “Rabbi Eliezer said, ‘What is meant by the verse, And all the families of the earth will be blessed, venivrechu, in you?’ The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Abraham…” Now, this isn’t in the Bible, it doesn’t literally say that, but it’s a paraphrase of what they understand. “I have two good branches to graft into you, Ruth the Moabite, and Naama the Amonite”. Now, what’s going on there? What’s happening is, the rabbis interpreted “venivrechu”, say, “venivrechu…

Audience: Venivrechu.

Nehemia: They interpreted that as an agricultural term. And it turns out, there’s an agricultural term, “lehavrich”, from the same exact word meaning knee, and it means, to graft. Now, why does it mean to graft? Because in agriculture, in ancient agriculture, there were two ways of grafting on a branch. You could lop off the old branches at the root, at the trunk, and then you tie or attach somehow the branch onto that root, and it will grow into it, and that’s a way of grafting.

Another way of grafting is the branch is growing out, and you only cut off part of it, and you take the new branch and you stick it onto that part. And then, you usually do that at a right angle, and that forms a knee. And hence, “to knee”, “lehavrich”, is to graft.

Now, when I saw this in the writings of the rabbis in the Talmud, I got to admit to you, I wasn’t very impressed, because after all, the Talmud says all kinds of whacky things, it really does. What I did want to see though is what do the Hebrew linguists say, you know, the great experts of the Hebrew language? Many of them lived many years after the Talmud. One of the greatest ones is a rabbi named Rashbam. Rashbam was the grandson of Rashi, and he’s actually considered to be one of the greatest Bible commentators who ever lived. Let me just show you this, by the way. We have here, what they’ve done is they’ve taken “venivrechu”, say, “venivrechu“.

Audience: Venivrechu.

Nehemia: And the word “breichot”, say, “breichot”.

Audience: Breichot.

Nehemia: “Breichot” means “branches”, an agricultural term, and “lehavrich”, which means, “to graft”. Say, “lehavrivh”.

Audience: Lehavrivch.

Nehemia: And they say, “Wait a minute. All three are of the same root. “Venivrechu”, instead of, “And they will be blessed”, can mean, “And they will be grafted”. And this is what the Rashbam says. He says, “Will be blessed, this is a term of grafting. That is to say, the families of the earth will be mixed in with your family”. “And in you and your descendants, all the families of the earth will be blessed”, can be legitimately translated, based on sound Hebrew linguistics as “In your and your descendants, all the families of the earth will be grafted.” Woo! [applause]

I’m excited. Now, that’s really interesting. So what’s going on here? I don’t have to tell you guys that in the New Testament, Paul has this whole image of the grafting in. Paul, though, tells us he was a Pharisee. He was probably aware of this interpretation of the rabbis, that in Genesis, when it talks about all the nations of the earth being blessed, that the way they were going to be blessed was to be grafted into Israel. Isn’t that amazing?

Audience: Yes!

Nehemia: Can I get an Amen?

Audience: Amen! [applause]

Nehemia: Wow. You know, going around the world and seeing people from every language, and literally every continent being drawn to the God of Israel, I am seeing this grafting take place. And one of the really exciting things to me is that in October, this is going to come out. This is the Chinese translation of A Prayer to Our Father. [applause] Woo!

Lest you think I’m excited about this because I’m going to be making a whole bunch of money, the Chinese translator wrote to Keith and me and he said, what he wants to do is be able to give away thousands of copies to pastors in mainland China, because the truth is, they don’t have the availability to buy books about this topic in China. It’s not readily available, but they’re doing a conference, and he wants to be able to give away 5,000 copies. And he said, “In order to be able to do that, I need you, Nehemia, and you, Keith, to give up your loyalty”. I said, “Give up my loyalty? [laughter] No way am I going to swear loyalty to the government of China. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I will not do that. I’m a very loyal person, and I’m very loyal to Keith”.

And Keith explained to me. He says, “Nehemia, he means give up your royalty”. [laughter] So we’ve given up our royalty - our loyalty - in order to get this book into the hands of 5,000 Christian pastors from mainland China. [applause]

This book is actually going out through the China Alliance Press. What that means is, it’s actually passed the pen of the censor, of the mainland Chinese censor. So it’s actually legal to have these books in China. They’ve picked through every character and every word, and said, “Okay, you’re allowed to have this book.” And to me… I don’t care about myself and this book, and that I’m not making any money on it, anyway. The significance of this, to me, is there are people who are interested in this in mainland China. There was someone who gave of his time and his own money in China to translate this book, on his own initiative. He wrote to us and said, “I wish I could get this book in Chinese.” And I wrote back and I said, “Translate it, and you can.” And he did, and now it’s being distributed to thousands of people. To me, this is a sign [applause] of great things that are happening, that people around the world are being stirred. Something in their heart is drawing them into the covenant, and to the God of Israel.

To me, this is like the magic carpet arriving, and swooping off the Jews of Yemen, and bringing the Jews over in a couple of days, from Ethiopia, and the 1.1 million Jews who came from the former Soviet Union. This is biblical proportions, these fulfilments of prophesies. And may it be soon that we all are together in the land, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, [applause] speaking Hebrew, calling upon the name of our God.

One final thing I didn’t bring. I have another slide, and that was like the crescendo. No, but I’ve got to bring this, I forgot all about this. I mean, I’ve got to bring this here, Ovadia chapter 1 verse 20. “And the captivity of this host of the Children of Israel that are amongst the Canaanites…” Say, “Canaanites”.

Audience: Canaanites.

Nehemia: “…as far as France”. It says here, “Tsarfat”, which they translate as “France”, “…and the captivity of Jerusalem, that is in Sfarad”, “in Spain”. Somebody say, “New Spain”.

Audience: New Spain.

Nehemia: “…shall inherit the cities of the Negev.” [applause] This is a prophesy that millions… It doesn’t say how many. It’s a prophesy that the captivity of Jerusalem, scattered among the lands of Spain, who will come back and inherit the lands of the south of Israel. Woo! [applause]

And I am so excited to be talking to you about this here, in New Mexico, which is the focal point of millions of anusim, who are returning to their faith. [applause] Now, when I first talked about this with Keith, about coming here - actually he was talking and I was typing, because I had lost my voice, and for three days I couldn’t speak. Literally, I couldn’t put out a peep. And I’m thinking that maybe I couldn’t put out a peep so that God would be preparing me for Yom Teruah. Say, “Yom Teruah”.

Audience: Yom Teruah.

Nehemia: Yom Teruah, many people translate it as “the Day of Trumpets”, but it literally means “the day of shouting and the day of trumpeting”. Teruah is a noise that you make with the horn, with a shofar, or a trumpet, or with your voice. And it may be in order for me to appreciate that teruah, God took away my voice for three days. Woo! [applause]

Now, we’re almost done. Let’s look at this verse here, Matthew 24:31. “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other.” [applause] Hold on, let’s back up. I’m a Karaite Jew. I’m not supposed to be bringing this verse, and I know some of my Jewish brothers and sisters are going to throw me under the bus for bringing this. But before they do that, I want to show you where this comes from.

You know, Paul in Rome, he’s talking about grafted - he didn’t make that up. That was from Genesis. So where does this come from? And I think it starts out in Numbers chapter 10 verses 5 to 7.

It describes there two different types of blasts of the shofar. The first one is called “t’kiah”, say, “t’kiah”.

Audience: T’kiah.

Nehemia: The other is called “t’ruah”, say, “t’ruah”.

Audience: T’ruah.

Nehemia: And t’kiah was to gather the camp. T’ruah was to move the camp. And these were the instructions in the desert, when they were moving as a camp, all of Israel. T’kiah, he would gather the camp, and t’ruah, he would move the camp. Now, what is the difference between t’kiah and t’ruah? And the truth is, there are different traditions in the Jewish sources about what exactly these are. But basically, we know that t’kiah is a long, unbroken sound, and t’ruah is a staccato, you know, like duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh sound.

So I’m going to, because I’m asthmatic, I’m not going to blow the shofar, but I’m going to ask my shofar expert, the Methodist, Keith Johnson, to illustrate for you the t’kiah and the t’ruah. So, can we get a t’kiah, Keith?

Keith: [blows t’kiah on shofar]

Nehemia: Gather the camp. And now a t’ruah, Keith.

Keith: [blows Teruah on shofar]

Nehemia: Excellent. Now, that is to move the camp. And maybe those instructions for the camp in the desert will be applied again in the end times, when God wants to gather the people and then tell the people to move. And that actually ties it in to Yom T’ruah, the day of moving the camp, of blowing the shofar, of the staccato sound, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh. Let’s get into the t’ruah.

Keith: [blows Teruah on shofar]

Nehemia: Woo! [applause] Now, how do we know this still applies today, because that was just some weird thing for the desert that he did when they were in the camp. Numbers chapter 10 verse 8, it says, “And the sons of Aaron shall blow the trumpets…” it’s talking about the silver trumpets, “…and they shall be for an eternal statute,” say, “eternal statute”.

Audience: Eternal statute.

Nehemia: “…throughout your generations.” Now, what application could this possibly have today? Numbers chapter 10 verse 10, “When you go out to war in your land against the troubler who troubles you,” that’s what it literally says - “ha tza’ar tzorer otkhah”, “the troubles you, you shall blow a t’ruah on the trumpets, and you shall be remembered before Yehovah, your God. [applause] And you shall be saved…” Somebody say, “saved”.

Audience: Saved.

Nehemia: “…from your enemies.” So when you go out against your troubler and you blow the t’ruah, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh, Yehovah will hear that in heaven and He will save you from your enemies. Woo! [applause]

I was just minding my business in the ivory tower. I wasn’t looking for this! [laughter] He had other plans.

Last verse, and then I’ll close, Isaiah 27:13, “And it shall come to pass on that day a great shofar…” woo! “will be blown. And those who are…”

Keith: [blows shofar]

Nehemia: There it is, “on that day, a great shofar will be blown, and those who are perishing in the land of Assyria and the outcasts in the land of Egypt will come and bow down to Yehovah on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.”

And may that be soon, that His messengers go forth and blow that great shofar. And when you hear the blow of that great shofar, don’t shut the door.


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  • Sarah says:

    I listen again and again to the Open Door Series, as well as the Torah and Prophet Pearls, and it’s always a joy to hear the message Yehovah sends through you, Nehemia. Thank you for sharing your understanding of the Scriptures, and your personal experiences. My days have become richer, and especially the Sabbath a true delight.

  • Bette Fincher says:

    Very good as always. I was in a meeting with Nehemia and Avi ben Mordecai in 2005 and have followed him since that time. He is sent by HaShem. for such as I.