Torah Pearls #49 – Ki Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)

Torah Pearls Ki Teitzei, Amalekites, bastard, ben sorer, blot out name, civil laws, collateral, cursed, Deuteronomy, divorce, dog, domestic laws, donkey and ox, fidelity, hanged on tree, hanging, harlot, inheritance, Ki Teitzei, levirate marriage, Malachi, mamzer, Methodist, nehemia gordon, parapets, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, plowing, presence of the Lord, presence of Yehovah, prostitute, prostitution, puppy, rape, rebellious son, repossession, rights of firstborn, sexual immorality, shechinah, shekhinah, slavery, sowing, tassels, tenth generation, Torah Pearls, Torah Portion, tzitzit, uncleanness, weaving, women’s rights, wool and linenThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Ki Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19). An uninformed reading of the archaic civil and domestic laws in this portion might leave one scratching the head, but the trio deftly removes cultural and language barriers so that the principles behind these pearls can be applied to the modern age. Discussions reveal what is at the heart of: Torah fashion statements, plowing with a donkey and an ox, installing parapets and taking millstones. Ki Teitzei underscores that the Torah is for all people, for all time—as its laws not only remedied ancient Canaanite traditions but also reached ahead to 20th century America when women’s rights finally began to get with the program. The portion concludes with the mind-bender of remembering to forget—and a reminder from Gordon that it’s a curse to have one’s name blotted out. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #34 – Bamidbar (Hosea 1:10-2:20[2:1-22])

Prophet Pearls Bamidbar, betroth, Yehovah, Hosea, Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson, Prophets, Northern Kingdom, Jezreel, Jeroboam, Gomer, prostitute, Lo-ruhamah, Lo-ammi, Israel, syncretism, hishbati, aras, symbolic, spiritual, Torah, torah portion, torah pearlsIn this week's Prophet Pearls Bamidbar, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion covering  Hosea 1:10-2:20 [2:1-22]. Gordon and Johnson begin by establishing a place and time: The Northern Kingdom, its capital Jezreel and the days of Jeroboam II. Enter Hosea, a prophet who offers his whole life as a witnessing tool, his wife Gomer the prostitute, their children: Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah (Not Pitied), and Lo-ammi (Not My People). We learn that the rebuke to Gomer/Israel for “adorning herself with jewelry” is an example of the dangers of syncretism—the spiritual mixing of seed (see link below). Word studies include “hishbati / I will cause to cease” and its root shin-bet-tav and “aras / I will betroth you” with its symbolic spiritual meaning. Gordon and Johnson close by discussing the legalities of betrothal in the Torah as well as the wonderment of being eternally betrothed. Continue reading