This week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Balak (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 And lest we think biblical idolatry is obsolete, Gordon and Johnson provide modern day examples that masquerade as piety.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
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 Part 5 of the Open Door Series, Nehemia Gordon teaches on the name that is the source of all blessing and at the heart of the Priestly Blessing. Gordon explains the literal meaning of God’s personal name and the power inherent in its uniqueness. With accounts from the lives of Abraham and David, he addresses the problems of ambiguity and syncretism (the spiritual mixing of seed) that arise when only the titles of God are used. Gordon discusses the great unlikeliness of the Smithfield revival and reveals a 30-year secret about a shut door — and his commitment to not shut the door again.
Open Door Series - List