Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2015

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Hebrew In Israel | Torah Portion Devarim – Learn Torah

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In this week’s torah portion, Devarim (words), Israel’s leader, Moshe, delivers his final speech before his death.  Yoel addresses some technical issues surrounding this ancient document, as well as the governing of Israel.

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Hebrew In Israel | Haftarah Devarim – Learn Torah

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“Come now,” says YHWH, “let’s talk this over together.  Even if your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow; even if they are red as crimson, they will be like wool.”  Isaiah 1:18  Yoel reads from Sennacherib’s annals and presents the historic backdrop of the prophet Isaiah–the prophet of hope–as he walks us through Isaiah chapter 1.

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Hebrew In Israel | Dagon, Dagan and Misunderstood Names – Learn Torah

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וַיִּקְחוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים אֶתאֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים, וַיָּבִאוּ אֹתוֹ בֵּית דָּגוֹן; וַיַּצִּיגוּ אֹתוֹ, אֵצֶל דָּגוֹן

The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon, where they positioned it beside Dagon” 1Sam 5:2

The name Dagon has been always associated with the fish like god which many try to depict as a merman–a half man, half fish.  It is understood that the word דָּג-Dag-fish is incorporated into his name.  However, this is probably a misunderstanding and the name is actually דָּגָן-Dagan-Grain.

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Hebrew In Israel | Torah Portion Matot/Masai – Learn Torah

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What do you do if you caused someone’s death, but it was an accident?  The Torah provides cities of refuge for those who commit manslaughter.  Yoel explains the function of these places in this week’s double torah portion, Matot/Masai (tribes/stages). 

Hebrew In Israel | Haftarah Masai – Learn Torah

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“For my people have committed two evils:  they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water!”  Haftarah Masai brings us Jeremiah’s first prophecy for Israel and appeal for her return.

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Hebrew In Israel | Haftarah Matot – Learn Torah

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Jeremiah is dedicated by God to be a prophet in Haftarah Matot.  Yoel presents the historic context of his day, his predestination, and the visions of the almond branch and boiling pot.

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Hebrew In Israel | Judges Part 15 – Learn Torah

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Why are there such violent stories in the bible?  In our final episode of the Book of Judges, Yoel and Jono address this question as Israel, due to the vow they took, find a loophole to rebuild the tribe of Benjamin whom they just decimated in the previous chapter.

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Hebrew In Israel | Torah Portion Pinchas – Learn Torah

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In this week’s torah portion, Pinchas (Phinehas), Yoel addresses textual practices, priesthood, genealogy, and inheritance for women.

Hebrew In Israel | Sukkot and the Documentary Hypothesis – Learn Torah

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One of the common arguments in Documentary Hypothesis (DH) is that the Torah is built from many documents (E, J, JE, P, H and D) which were written by different authors, and were placed together by someone later in time to create the whole Torah we have today.  This division has driven most of the Biblical Studies world, and is taught in many schools with some to little criticism.  However, new documentation from the Ancient Near East (ANE) has shown that at least some of the assumptions of the system are incorrect, and in some cases detached from historical discourse.

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Hebrew In Israel | Haftarah Pinchas – Learn Torah

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Is it possible to get worn out in the service of God?  Is it possible that Elijah misunderstood his mission?  Elijah runs away from Jezebel and wants to die, after the spectacular events at Mt Carmel, in this week’s haftarah Pinchas.

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