This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Bereshit covering Isaiah 42:5-43:10. After a quick tutorial on the origin of the Haftarah, we learn that the Prophets aren't the golden oldies; their writings are as relevant as ever and more current than our news feeds. Gordon and Johnson explore the original context in which this portion was written, followed by the context in 168 BCE when this passage was first read aloud in the synagogue, and finally the context in September 2014 when Netanyahu spoke the holy words of Isaiah to the United Nations. In addition to parsing key words from the portion, Gordon and Johnson answer the following: What service did the Jews provide to the ancient Roman Empire? And since the Creator refers to himself in so many wonderful ways, would he really name himself, “Lord”? In closing, Gordon and Johnson remind us that while God’s one and only name may have been lost for generations, he did not lose ours—he calls every one of his covenant people by name.
"Thus says the Mighty One Yehovah, who created the heavens and stretched them out..." Isaiah 42:5
The Original Torah Pearls - Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)
Jehovah's Witnesses website (Feb 11, 2011): "The truth is, nobody knows for sure how the name of God was originally pronounced... Some—though not all—feel that the Israelites before the time of Jesus probably pronounced God's name Yahweh..."