Prophet Pearls #41 – Pinchas (1 Kings 18:46-19:21)

Prophet Pearls Pinchas, 1 Kings 18:46-19:21, 1 Kings, elijag mount horeb, elijah and jezebel, elijah mount carmel, elijah mt carmel, elijah mt horeb, etbaal, haftarah, jezebel baal, jezebel sidonian princess, Keith Johnson, mount horeb, Mt. Horeb, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, spirit of jezebel, still small voice, this silent voiceThis week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Pinchas (1 Kings 18:46-19:21). Following the smack-down at Mount Carmel, Elijah flees to the desert. But was he “afraid” or did he just “see” what he needed to do? Gordon parses “ra’ah” (reish, aleph, hei) and explains why this word could be translated “afraid” or “saw.” Continue reading

Torah Pearls #41 – Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)

Torah Pearls PinchasThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1). What is the qualification of the first born? Who inherits the land if a father has no sons but only daughters? Did Pinchas impale a princess of Midian? Double portion or two thirds – what did it mean for Moses to impart some of his glory to Joshua, or Elijah’s spirit to Elisha? Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #40 – Balak (Micah 5:7[6]-6:8)

Prophet Pearls Balak, Micah 5:7[6]-6:8, balak, biblical idolatry, haftarah, hebrew paragraph divisions, Yehovah, yhvh, Keith Johnson, micah 6:8, nehemia gordon, obedience sacrifice, paragraph divisions, samech pei, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophet micah, prophets, remnant, samech pei, what the lord requiresThis week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Balak (Micah 5:6-6:8). The portion begins with Micah drawing from the song of Moses to illustrate what the remnant of Jacob will look like—“as showers upon grass.” The prophet also provides a list of things that will be cut off “in that day.” And lest we think biblical idolatry is obsolete, Gordon and Johnson provide modern day examples that masquerade as piety. We learn the uses of the paragraph divisions of “samech” and “pei” and Gordon scours the Tanakh for other uses of “in that day.” Continue reading

Torah Pearls #40 – Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

In The Original Torah Pearls, Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9), we discuss was Yehovah Balaam’s God? What kind of prophet was Balaam? Why did God seek to kill Balaam? Does Numbers 22:22 really say that the angel of Yehovah was Satan? Did Balaam announce the first recorded messianic prophecy in the Torah? Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #48 – Jewish Freedom in America

Religious Freedom in AmericaIn Hebrew Voices, Jewish Freedom in America, Nehemia Gordon and Tel Aviv University Professor Michael Kochin, explain how Jonas Phillips, an 18th century Jewish merchant gave us freedom of religion, how George Washington set us free from the tyranny of religious "toleration", and how the Regressive Left is ushering in a new era of religious persecution. They also discuss how President Trump's "Muslim Ban" fits with the American Constitution, and the history of US immigration law. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #39 – Chukat (Judges 11:1-33)

Prophet Pearls Chukat, Judges 11:1-33, Ammonites Moabites, chukat, haftarah, Jephthah, Jephthah’s vow, Judges 11:1-33, judges 11:24, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, religious vows, vow of Jephthah, vowing to God, vowing to Yehovah, Yehovah, yhvhThis week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Chukat covering Judges 11:1-33. Gordon and Johnson draw parallels between events in this portion and current diplomatic strategies over the land of Israel. For a clearer understanding of Jephthah, the exiled son of a prostitute who brings deliverance to Israel, Gordon provides a summary of the history, religions, and geography of the Ammonites and Moabites. This portion provides an example of properly translating “malach”—where only context determines if it’s “angel” or “messenger.” Gordon and Johnson point out the striking word play found with the word-of-the-week yihyeh “he will be” (yud-hei-yud-hei). Gordon reads from Deuteronomy concerning the seriousness of vowing to Yehovah and provides rabbinical interpretations of Jephthah’s tragic vow. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #39 – Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)

Image of red heifer for Torah Pearls Chukat.In this episode of the The Original Torah Pearls, Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1), we discuss, is there a red heifer in Israel? What is the water of menstruation for cleansing? Does a corrupt priesthood invalidate the water of purification and are we cut off without it? Is the site of the Temple off limits today? What exactly did Moses do wrong when Yehovah brought water from the rock? How did the snake on the pole cross the line into idolatry? Continue reading