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In this episode of Hebrew Voices #167 - “Ancient Idolatry at the Israel Museum,” Nehemia shows us exhibits that bring to life the idolatry in the land of Canaan condemned by Yehovah throughout the Bible. Pieces include some familiar bronze serpents, one of the “high places” to Yehovah, and the earliest surviving reference to the House of David. I l…
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In this episode of Hebrew Voices #166 - What is Reform Judaism?, Nehemia learns from Dr. Yaakov Ariel about the historical development of Reform Judaism, its views on Jesus, and the “Jewish authenticity” of Messianics. I look forward to reading your comments! PODCAST VERSION:https://audio.nehemiaswall.com/Hebrew-Voices/Hebrew-Voices-166-What-is-Ref…
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In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Haazinu (2 Samuel 22:1-51), Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson compare this portion to its parallel in Psalm 18, so we can learn more about the contexts of these living, breathing prayers and prophecies and the families of Levites who read and sang them in the Temple and in synagogues. Gordon explains the rabbinical…
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In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, 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. Nehemia 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”…
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In this lost episode of Hebrew Voices #165 - Open Siddur Project, Dr. Nehemia Gordon interviews Aharon Varady of the Open Siddur Project, a free database of Jewish prayers. They discuss the difference between spontaneous prayer and liturgy, the concept of learning from everyone, and the problem of source attribution in Judaism. I look forward to re…
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This week’s Prophet reading—traditionally called the Haftorah—is Isaiah 55:6–56:8. It accompanies the Torah portion Vayeilech (Deuteronomy 31:1–30). This week’s passage begins with a remarkable affirmation of God’s readiness to forgive repentant sinners—personally, directly, and completely. He goes on to speak of His coming salvation for those who …
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In this episode of Hebrew Voices #107, The Mishnah and the New Testament, Bible Scholar Nehemia Gordon speaks with Rabbi Dr. David Moster about how the early rabbis dealt with supposed Biblical contradictions, what we can learn from the Mishnah and New Testament's approaches to the text of the Hebrew Bible, and why a famous rabbi made a cameo-appea…
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In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Vayelech (Isaiah 55:6-56:8), Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson rejoice in this portion that heralds good news for the wicked, the unrighteous, the outcasts of Israel, the eunuch and the foreigner. And if none of these describe you, feel free to check “other.” The portion begins with a play on words with nothing les…
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In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nitzavim (Isaiah 61:10-63:9), Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson, recount their most recent visit to the Temple Mount and Nehemia gives the historical background of Muslim-control of the only holy site in Judaism. They also discuss the Isaiah passage read by Yeshua in the synagogue—which confirms first-century Hafta…
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In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30), we discuss traditions we were taught concerning the Torah—a Law so simple ancient Israelites were expected to obey just by hearing it every seven years. They examine how religious traditions can stray from the intent of Torah—to hear, to learn, to fear, and to do. Rega…
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In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20), we revel in the five verses that sum up the entire Bible - the wonderful and terrible responsibility given to mankind to choose. But what qualifies one to choose the life-giving covenant? Social status? Being in the camp? Does the name of God provide a clue? And how is …
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This week’s Prophets portion is a repeat of an earlier portion. The portion for Noach covering Isaiah 54:1-55:5 is read a second time on two subsequent Sabbaths: Isaiah 54:11-55:5 for the portion of Re’eh and Isaiah 54:1-10 for the portion of Ki Teitzei. Rather than record three separate programs on the same section of the Prophets, we decided to r…
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In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Ki Tavo, covering Isaiah 60:1-22. Gordon and Johnson revel in this sixth in a series of seven “Haftarot of Consolation,” as the prophet Isaiah details the future glory of Israel. Gordon and Johnson provide eyewitness accounts of the fulfillment of s…
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In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8), after revealing the identity of the “wandering Aramean,” we discuss the name commanded to be spoken seven times during the first fruits offering. A vivid picture is painted of the tribes standing on Mounts Ebal and Gerizim declaring the blessings and the curses across th…
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In this episode of Hebrew Voices #164 – A Karaite Jew on Mormonism: Part 1, Nehemia brings on the foremost historian of early Mormonism, Dan Vogel. They discuss what Bible scholars can learn from Joseph Smith’s cultural background of treasure hunting and his rapidly evolving historical claims regarding the golden plates and the Book of Mormon. I lo…
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In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Ki Teitzei covering Isaiah 54:1-54:10. Gordon and Johnson revel in the glorious promises to Israel, explore the various ways the Tanakh allegorizes her, and stand firmly on common ground concerning the messianic promise as Yehovah connects his etern…
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In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, 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 reve…
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This week’s Prophet reading—traditionally called the Haftorah—is Isaiah 51:12–52:12. It accompanies the Torah portion Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9). In this passage God encourages His people not to fear, despite the threats of their enemies. Although He has punished His people for their disobedience, He will liberate and restore them. The prophe…
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In this episode of Hebrew Voices #91, The Aramaic Name of God, Nehemia Gordon discusses a cache of papyri written by a garrison of Jewish soldiers on the southern border of Egypt in the 5th century BCE. Hebrew University Professor Emeritus Bezalel Porten explains how these Jews arrived in Egypt as mercenaries in the time of King Menasheh, offered s…
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In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Shoftim covering Isaiah 51:12-52:12. Gordon and Johnson begin with the elephant in the room: Why does Shoftim (and Ki Teitzei following) decisively leapfrog over Isaiah 52:13-53:12? Was the omission of this key prophetic passage for Christians and M…
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This episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9), begins by focusing on judgment and law and Nehemia Gordon shares the origin of the Hebrew word for “grace.” Discussions include: Must we always have two or three witnesses? Who has the authority today? Are we guilty of rejecting Yehovah as King? What of the Harry Potter qu…
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This bonus episode of Prophet Pearls looks at Isaiah 66:1-24, which is read in synagogues around the world whenever the weekly Sabbath coincides with Rosh Chodesh (New Moon Day). Join Nehemia Gordon and Yoel Halevy of Hebrew in Israel, for a riveting discussion about what Isaiah has to say concerning Resurrection of the Dead, God's role as our Heav…
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In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, 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 hi…
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