Nugget 239: The Seer Who Could Not See

Walking Against God's Will.  As we saw last week, Israel had begun the final leg of the journey to Canaan land. Traveling northward along the King's highway, they would pass directly through the land of Moab. Balak, the king of Moab, felt threatened by Israel so he...
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Nugget #238: Take the King’s Highway Home

 Esau's Inheritance.  The book of Numbers is partly a narrative of Israel's desert wanderings interspersed with the laws and requirements of the offerings and also, rules for dividing the land of Canaan. Deuteronomy recounts (and summarizes) the events of the desert...
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Nugget #237: Happy Father’s Day

Honoring Our Fathers When God gave the Ten Commandments, He was establishing the foundation for society and truly "western civilization" and esp. the laws of the United States are built upon them.  Their importance cannot be denied (although many people try to do so...
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Nugget #236: Teachers and their Students

Teachers and Their Students There is a strong logical connection between teaching and learning. We cannot teach without learning and the best teachers are those who are lifelong students.  Also, we can learn a new subject better if we also simultaneously teach someone...
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Nugget #235: Shavu’ot and Pentecost

The Hebrew word שָׁבֻעֹת֙ - Shavuot (sha-vu-ote) literally means 'weeks'. The word 'week' in Modern Hebrew is שבוע - shavuah. Exodus 34:22 says, "And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest." The phrase 'feast of weeks' is from the...
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Nugget #234: Jerusalem! Jerusalem!

Jerusalem: The City of Peace Jerusalem Day (Hebrew: יום ירושלים, Yom Yerushalayim) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. When Israel declared its...
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Nugget #233: The Miracle Nation

The Most Crowded Hours in History At 4:00 pm on Friday, Iyar 5th, 5708 (May 15th, 1948), David Ben Gurion Listen to David Ben Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence (English Subtitles) (who would be the first Prime Minister of the new state)  stood in the Tel...
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Nugget #232: Remember the Six Million

Remember the Six Million Yom HaShoah (Heb: יום השואה ) begins tonite at sundown. The official name is [Heb: יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה ] - Yom HaZikaron laShoah v'laG'vurah.  Let us examine these words etymologically. The Hebrew word Yom (יום) means 'day'...
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Nugget #231: L’Chaim! To Life!

L'Chaim! To Life! God is a God of order and He does everything in an orderly fashion. To maintain order in the universe, He built into it a timekeeping system when He created the sun ( שמש) she-mesh, moon (ירח ) ye-rey-ach and stars ( כוכבים) ko-kah-vim: "And God...
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Nugget #230: When God Leads Along a Desert Way

When God Leads Along a Desert Way This is Passover week and so we are considering the original Exodus from Egypt as recorded in Exodus chapter 13. "And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the...
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Nugget #227: Overcome Evil with Good

Overcome Evil with Good Mystery!  A constant theme of the book of Esther is that 'things are not always the way they appear'.  The name "Esther" is from the word mistar ( מסתר) and means 'hiding place'. [Note: Esther's Hebrew name is Hadassah (הֲדַסָּה) (Esther 2:7)...

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Hebrew Nugget 225: Life in the Secret Place

This week's Torah Portion, יִתְר֨וֹ (Yitro, the English translation is 'Jethro'), covers Exodus 18, 19 & 20. Chapter 18 speaks about Yitro (Jethro), Moses' father-in-law who is the "priest of Midian" according to Exodus 2:16.  Remember that Moses had lived in...

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Hebrew Nugget 224: How to be Prosperous

Tu B'Shvat literally means, "the 15th of the month of Sh'vat" and is also known as the "New Year for the Trees". It is the date decided upon by Jewish sages as the day to calculate the age of trees for the purpose of tithing.  The practice of tithing the fruits of...

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Don’t Leave My Bones in Egypt

This weeks Torah Portion, 'Vayechi', is named for the first Hebrew word of Genesis 47:28 - וַיְחִ֤י יַעֲקֹב֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם <- ('Vayechi Ya'cov b'eretz mizraim).  The AV translates it exactly as written, "And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt..."  The first...

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The Unseen Hand

Edith Samuel, in her book, "Your Jewish Lexicon", says that chesed is one of the "most high-frequency words" in the Jewish lexicon. Chesedחֶסֶד [remember in Hebrew the 'ch' is pronounced as in 'Bach'] occurs 237 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (Strong's #678) and is...

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Nugget 218: When Days are Dark

The Golden Menorah that was in Solomon's Temple (originally in the Tabernacle) is first mentioned in Exodus 25 where God gave the instructions for making the Tabernacle and all of its 'furniture'. Called the מְנֹרַ֖ת זָהָ֣ב - (menorah zhav), meaning 'golden menorah',...

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Nugget 215: Jacob’s Ladder

The first line of text in this week's Torah portion: וַיֵּצֵ֥א יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ חָרָֽנָה < For the Hebrew students, I will write the Hebrew in transliteration and translation: Vayetze (and went out) Yakov (Jacob) mi-be'er sheva(from Be'er...

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