Hebrew Voices #62 – Reggie White and The Secret Vault (Rebroadcast)

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Reggie White and the Secret Vault, I share my experiences teaching Biblical Hebrew to the late football Hall-of-Famer Reggie White and tell the story of how we attained special access to a vault holding the actual pages of the Aleppo Codex, an opportunity which Reggie later famously called the best day of his life, better than even winning the Superbowl! Jackie wrote: “What an inspiration this man's faith continues to be to the world... and to me.” Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #18 – Mishpatim (Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26)

Prophet Pearls Mishpatim, Jeremiah, deror liberty, haftarah, haftarah mishpatim, hebrew word play, hebrew word puns, indentured servants tanakh, Keith Johnson, mishpatim prophets, missing verses in Septuagint, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophet jeremiah, prophets, slavery in tanakh, spelling Isaac in TanakhIn this episode of Prophet PearlsMishpatim Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26, ever obedient servants of context, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson begin at the beginning—with two verses moved to the end of this Portion by the Rabbis.  In these two verses in which the unfailing laws of nature are equated with God’s promises to Israel, Gordon makes a connection between the theories of physicists and the views of pundits regarding the land of Israel.  Gordon and Johnson further explore why these two verses (and eight others) are missing from the Septuagint and why the spelling of Isaac differs here from elsewhere in the Tanakh. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #89 – Hebrew Homeschooling

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Hebrew Homeschooling, Nehemia Gordon speaks with Katie and Lydia Hirn, who are developing a Torah-based homeschool curriculum. Nehemia answers some of their burning questions about how to pronounce Hebrew and explains why some people say “shabbat” and others “shabbos”, where to put the emphasis on a Hebrew word, and the importance of being consistent in whichever Hebrew dialect you choose to use. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #17 – Yitro (Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6)

In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Yitro (Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-60), Nehemia Gordon compares Isaiah’s succinct vision of heaven to accounts in Kings, Ezekiel and Daniel. We see a “real” Adonai in this Portion and learn about the importance of the Masoretic notes. Gordon and Johnson tackle the problematic issue of Isaiah actually seeing God and explain where Isaiah got the idea that fire cleanses. Continue reading

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 PearlsYitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23), 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

Hebrew Voices #35 – How to Keep Shabbat (Rebroadcast)

How to Keep ShabbatIn this episode of Hebrew Voices, How to Keep Shabbat, Nehemia Gordon discusses what it means “not kindle a fire on Shabbat”, where the Rabbinic tradition of lighting “Shabbat candles” come from, and a reminder to show grace to those who don’t keep Shabbat the same way you do. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #16 – Beshalach (Judges 4:4-5:31)

Prophet Pearls Beshalach, Judges 4:4-5:31, devorah, israel, judges, torah portion, deborah, barak, jael, prophet, haftarah, jezreel valley, sisera, yehovah, yhvhIn episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Beshalach covering Judges 4:4-5:31. Although not a “military commander” like the other judges, Deborah coolly commands the military in this portion’s reading—and then writes a lovely song about it to boot. We learn the context of her years as a judge and prophetess and how her administration fits into the life cycle of ancient Israel. Continue reading

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

In this episode of The Original Torah PearlsBeshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16), we get some fascinating insights from the Hebrew in the story of the Exodus from Egypt and dig 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