Torah Pearls #6 – Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)God’s desire and ability to establish a universal and eternal plan within three generations of a mere human family comes to the forefront. Discussions include: Are three related nations depicted among these generations? What is the symbolic significance of Isaac’s wells? Word studies include: “red,” “heel,” “trembled,” and how the KJV back-tracked to render a personified view of “satan.” We see familial patterns continue as Isaac echoes, “she’s my sister,” and Rebecca steps away from the daily grind to “seek Yehovah.”  The trio explores Jacob and Esau’s differences—a shepherd with a plan and a hunter in the moment—as well as the defining difference that altered their destinies. As Jacob sets off with the double portion, God’s mixed-multitude plan is set in motion—a plan to bring his covenant to all mankind. Jeannette wrote: “The discussion was amazing as usual. So many good Torah pearls today.” Continue reading

Torah Pearls #1 – Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

Torah Pearls Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8). The inaugural Torah Pearl kicks off with a “Portion101” and then, game on. Gap theory, hyper-literalism, parallelism, something from nothing or something from something? Old earth or young earth? Cosmic battle or crafty animal just doing his thing? What hovered . . . an angel, wind, the “Holy Spirit”? Interpretations abound, but to Gordon, sometimes an “et” is just an “et.” What was hot-wired into the sun and moon on the fourth day? Despite chapter manipulations by an Archbishop of Canterbury what climaxes the creation story—mankind or Shabbat? Moving away from theories and interpretations, Johnson shares his own take on the creation story—where the original language speaks to him in such a way that he sees and feels the darkness flee and the light be. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #2 – The Origin of Sin (Rebroadcast)

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, The Origin of Sin, Nehemia Gordon discusses with Dr. Miryam Brand the origin of sin and her book, Evil Within and Without: The Source of Sin and Its Nature as Portrayed in Second Temple Literature. Gordon keeps the gems accessible to non-scholars as they track revelations about the origin of sin through the centuries. 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 requiresIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Balak covering 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)

Torah Pearls Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) with Bible Scholar Nehemia GordonIn 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