These days one hears much about the "Holiday" of Passover and even we Karaites refer to it often. But in the Hebrew Bible there is no such holiday! In the Tanach "Passover" is the name of a sacrifice, while the holiday is called Chag HaMatzot ("Feast of Unleavened Bread"). Continue reading
In this Support Team study, I share how a Passover Seder when I was eight marked my life and ministry. This Passover experience was a seed that grew and eventually opened a crack in my Litvak intellectualism. It allowed me to recognize that true spiritual encounters can be real, powerful, and life changing. But we need to have discernment between true encounters with our creator, emotional manipulation from others, or from “demonic” deception. While I don't have all the answers, I know what Scripture says—all authentic spiritual experiences must line up with Torah—and I hope this study begins a fruitful dialogue. Please share your thoughts and ideas (along with verses) in the comments—after listening to the study. Continue reading
In Hebrew Voices, How Long Were the Israelites in Egypt, we tackle the age-old conundrum of how to count 400 years. Continue reading
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16). This week's episode of Torah Pearls begins with the plague of locusts in Egypt. From the stories of Moses stretching his hands toward Egypt we gain some fascinating insights on the power of prayer. The discussion then moves to the death of the firstborn, and explore some of the amazing acts of The LORD providing for the Hebrew people prior to their departure. The group then speaks at length on the determining of the New Year based on the Hebrew calendar, which allows us to determine when Passover comes. This leads to a wonderful discussion of being humble enough to admit when one is wrong. Continue reading
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Re'eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17). We focus on Moses’ command to “see”—to clearly understand that life gives us only two choices—to create a god from our own hearts or to obey and worship the true God—His place, His time, His way. The trio explores the following questions: Where did God choose to place his name and can a GPS get you there? What’s the biblical way to dispose of an idol? What does it mean to be without the yoke of the Torah and does the New Testament refer to this malady? What’s an “evil eye”? Why were Jews in the Middle Ages forced to choose between begging and banking? Who are the sons of Yehovah? Do some translations attempt to make bacon kosher? What’s at the heart of the issue of boiling a kid in its mother’s milk? What’s so dangerous about high mountains and green trees? Ten times three equals thirty... right? Is night time the right time for a Passover sacrifice? In addition to many other insights into the original Hebrew language and context, Gordon provides an example of the meticulousness of the scribes who preserved for us an imaginary bird that we couldn't eat even if we tried. Can one worship the true God without adhering to His commandments? What of the altars other than the altar? Who exactly were the corrupt men of “beliya’al”? Where is the son of God mentioned in the Old Testament? What kind of birds are the Ra’ah & the Da’ah? How can we possibly understand the deep & complex riddle, “Do not boil a kid in it’s mother’s milk”? Are there three tithes or only one? When did the Israelites leave Egypt, by day or by night? Continue reading
In this Original Torah Pearl – Passover Special, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson delve into the story of the exodus, beginning with Ex 12:21. They start off by sharing the time they personally experienced "darkness so dark, it could be felt". Nehemia points out a few examples in the exodus story where we are given background information by way of a flashback and he explain how the Passover sacrifice was brought, who could eat of it and how it should be commemorated today. Keith gets all excited when they come to the part where Yehovah introduces His calendar and Nehemia suggests we be tolerant of our neighbor who may be celebrating the holidays on a different date than ourselves. Nehemia also gives a very quick overview of the three different types of leaven and the extent of the prohibition of leaven on Chag HaMatzot (Passover). Nehemia and Keith talk about all this and more in this Original Torah Pearl – Passover Special. We hope you enjoy this episode and will share your favorite parts in the comments. Continue reading
The Torah commands us: "In the First Month on the fourteenth day of the month, between the two evenings [Hebrew: "Bein Ha'arabayim"], is the Passover [Sacrifice] to Yehovah." In biblical Hebrew, the word "evening" (Ayin-Resh-Bet) indicates both the "early part of the night" as well as the actual "onset of evening". In the expression "between the two evenings" the first "onset of evening" is sunset (when the disk of the sun disappears) while the second "onset of evening" is the disappearance of the last rays of the sun and the onset of total darkness. The expression "between the two evenings" is used interchangeably with the term "Ba-Erev" (literally: "at evening") which itself refers to the "onset of the evening"
Karaite Jews have a unique and intriguing way of making Matzah. The recipe was provided by Shoshi Dabach of Jerusalem. Continue reading
This year (2016), the Biblical date for Passover (The Feast of Unleavened Bread) will begin Saturday night April 23, 2016 at sunset until Saturday night April 30 at sunset.
In this episode of Hebrew Voices, From Slavery to Freedom, Nehemia Gordon speaks to Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski. Nehemia draws on Rabbi Twerski's vast experience as a world-renowned Rabbi and psychiatrist to explain why it is important to get out of our comfort zone in order to achieve true spirituality. The author of over 70 books and a canonical Jewish prayer sung in every synagogue, Rabbi Twerski's stature in the Jewish world parallels that of Billy Graham in the Christian world. Rabbi Twerski opens the episode singing a Psalm, shares how he once saved a man by getting a special dispensation from the Pope, and describes a practical plan to break the chains of spiritual slavery in order to attain true freedom and maximize our full potential and purpose in life. Continue reading