Torah Pearls #53 – Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)

Original Torah Pearls - Ha'azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32). The song of Moses provides a lyrical backdrop for discussing the beauty and message of Moses’ last words to the people. Gordon explains poetic structure and rhythm as well as how poetic names are formed in Hebrew. The trio explores the repeated references to the “rock” in this song and clarifies who “they” refers to—Israel or the nations. Johnson expounds on the beauty inherit in the Tanach for Christians—with no retrofits needed—while Gordon highlights the passage equating “calling out the name of Yehovah” with “giving greatness” to the Name. The trio concludes with all the conviction of Moses—that there simply are not any other gods out there. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #37 – Shlach (Numbers 13:1-15:41)

atonement, caleb, forgiveness, fringes, hosea, hoshea, jesus, joshua, meraglim, religious police, slang, spies, torah pearls, tzitzit, yehoshua, yeshua, torah pearls shlach, numbers, nehemia gordon, torah portion, hebrew slang, torah, sinThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Shlach (Numbers 13:1-15:41). In this Torah Portion we discuss what does the name Hoshea mean? Is there Hebrew slang in the Torah? What is God’s perspective of forgiveness? Caleb and Jesus went into the land? What does it mean to sin with an uplifted hand? Also, beware of the tzitzit police! Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #11 – Vayigash (Ezekiel 37:15-28)

Prophet Pearls Vayigash, Ezekiel, Aliyah, tel abib, tel aviv, haftarah, vayigash, Ingathering, Israel, judah, josephus, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, northern kingdom, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, rabbi akiva, rabbi eliezer, return of exiles, salvation in tanakh, two sticks united

This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayigash, covering Ezekiel 37:15-28. Gordon and Johnson set the stage by describing the pivotal time in the history of Israel and Judah when Ezekiel lived and prophesied. They also share the life-changing encounters they've each had with the writings of this prophet. Word studies include:“son of man,” “join,” the plural of “one,” “settlements,” and the rare context of “save” in this Portion. At center stage are the ten lost tribes of Israel. We learn what Josephus knew about the tribes, as well as the opposing views of Rabbis Akiva and Eliezer regarding their ingathering. Proving one of the rabbis in error, Gordon recounts the day he was driving a tractor on an Israeli kibbutz and witnessed a convoy of Ethiopians traversing the highway—fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy as they made Aliyah. Gordon and Johnson close with a prayer that light be shed on all 12 tribes, and that the day soon comes when there is one nation, one temple, and one king. Continue reading