This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayikra covering Isaiah 43:21-44:23. In this haftarah portion paralleling the Torah’s central section on sacrifices, Gordon and Johnson delve deep into the issues of sacrifice, obedience and idolatry. Word studies include: “blot out” (with its historical context of a debt certificate), “first father” (with Jewish and Christian perspectives on original sin), and “bow down” (with its exclusive connection to idolatry).
“Jeshurun,” the poetic nickname for Israel, offers a particularly lustrous pearl, as we learn its meaning, its usage in the Tanakh and its connection to the name Israel. Gordon and Johnson reveal the transgression of the “mediators” and the danger of blindly following anyone—reminding listeners that they serve only as river guides; all can access information, expect inspiration and receive revelation. In closing, Gordon prays that we be worthy of the name of Israel and that the day comes soon when trees and rocks cry out the redemption of Israel.
"Your translators transgressed against me" Isaiah 43:27
The Original Torah Pearls - Vayikra - (Leviticus 1:1-5:26)
Artwork for this week's episode is a painting by Mara Hofmann, artist.