Nehemia Gordon & Keith Johnson – Torah Pearls – Vayishlach – Genesis 32:4-36:43

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  1. Elisheva says

    I guess now we know why there are only 12 tribes ROFL

    I have heard the bite thing too, with Esav and Ya’akov. I heard it from Rico Cortes, but he never mentioned the dots being teeth.

    BTW, has there ever been anything so controversial that it actually did get edited out? lol

  2. jono vandor says

    Elisheva, I really look forward to editing the Torah Pearls every week. They are hilarious! Really, Nehemia & Keith are so humorous together! But my challenge is to fit all the relative discussion into one hour, so yes, sometimes much is edited. That which is cut would probably make the comedy album of the year 😉

  3. Matityahu says

    Another great show guys!

  4. jono vandor says

    Here is some odd info I pulled from the Jewish online encyclopedia…

    “The kiss they exchange and the tears they shed at this meeting have been differently construed. The word (Gen. xxxiii. 4), being dotted in the Masoretic text, indicates, according to some, that Esau really repented; while others maintain that even in this scene he acted the hypocrite (comp. Judas’ kiss; Sifre, Num. ix. 10; Gen. R. lxxviii.; Ab. R. N. 34; Ex. R. v.). The latter view obtains in Targ. Pseudo-Jonathan to the verse: Jacob wept on account of the pain in his neck, which had been bitten by Esau; and Esau shed tears because his teeth hurt him, Jacob’s neck having been turned into smooth stone or ivory (see Rashi ad loc.; Gen. R. lxxi.). Jacob was aware of the hypocrisy of Esau (Pirḳe R. El. xxxvii.), as appears from the latter’s explanation offered to God when reproved for having profaned holy things by his gifts and address to Jacob. Esau had planned to kill his brother “not with arrows and bow but by [my] mouth” (Pirḳe R. El. l.c.) “and sucking his blood”; but the fact that Jacob’s neck turned into ivory thwarted his intention.”

    It appears the above fable was simply invented by Rabbi Yannai during the first half of the 3rd Century.

  5. rocky jackson says

    Rico will be staying this weekend at my house for nearly 3 days I will ask him about what he has heard or thought about this when I pick him up at the airport this evening!

  6. Stephen Houston says

    Pearls from the Torah Portion: this is the way Torah should be taught thanks Yahûwâh /Yəhôvâh for this program

  7. Sheryl says

    When I first came into the Messianic movement I was told the dots represented teeth because it was a kiss of death. Esau wanted to really kill Jacob not kiss him. So I’m so glad you brought this up Jono because yes, Keith, I just assumed I was told the truth not understanding Hebrew. Again, I enjoy every week. Bless Yah!!

  8. catherine kipapa says

    thank you all, you guy’s are great… jono i also have heard about the kiss of death. i am very thankful to Abba Father, that He is opening my eyes to the Torah. i am young in my walk with the Father, but He has allowed me to find teachers who teach truth. i had discovered something in the book of bereshith 36:7 were esaw and ya’aqob dwelt together, it must of been for some time because he had his family and herds with him. it resembles the story of abraham and lot and how the herdsman argued with one another. now this discovery makes more sense. thanks.
    there are a lot of groups teaching talmud traditions and it can be very confusing. i will hope and pray that in the future maybe you guy’s would start to teach the Torah portions. blessing from michigan

  9. says

    Is there anyway we can listen to the unedited version on the web? I really enjoy the back and forth. You should release two versions. 🙂

  10. jono vandor says

    The following is taken from Wiki

    In fifteen passages in the Bible, some words are stigmatized; i.e., dots appear above the letters. (Gen 16:5, 18:9, 19:33, 33:4, 37:12, Num 3:39, 9:10, 21:30, 29:15, Deut. 29:28, 2Sam 19:20, Isaiah 44:9, Ez 41:20, 46:22, Ps 27:13) The significance of the dots is disputed. Some hold them to be marks of erasure; others believe them to indicate that in some collated manuscripts the stigmatized words were missing, hence that the reading is doubtful; still others contend that they are merely a mnemonic device to indicate homiletical explanations which the ancients had connected with those words; finally, some maintain that the dots were designed to guard against the omission by copyists of text-elements which, at first glance or after comparison with parallel passages, seemed to be superfluous. Instead of dots some manuscripts exhibit strokes, vertical or else horizontal. The first two explanations are unacceptable for the reason that such faulty readings would belong to Qere and Ketiv, which, in case of doubt, the majority of manuscripts would decide. The last two theories have equal probability.

  11. Shimon says

    I’m a Talmudic Jew from London, England and I look forward to these Torah Pearls every single week. There is much for me to learn from you all!

    May HaShem bless all of you for such wonderful dedication you have to Him.


  12. Scotty Fitzgibbon says

    Yes! We, too, would like to hear the whole, uneditied versions. Great idea. 😀

  13. Darren Chan says

    Does this mean Jacob bit Rachel and then they both wept just as with Esau?

    Gen 29:11 And Jacob kissed [H5401] Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. [H1058]

    Gen 33:4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell onH his neck, and kissed [H5401] him: and they wept. [H1058]

    I’ll go with the spiritually objective Hebrew scholar who doesn’t take a single word and make an entire doctrine and movement out of it as I have experienced with other sects of religion.

    I’ve fallen for that trap way too many times.

    And thanks Jono for keeping the program as family friendly as literally possible.

  14. Blaine Hershey says

    I read the 32 chapter of Jasher after this weeks Torah portion . It adds light to the Esau , Jacob encounter . What do you think of it ?
    Also The Dinah situation . Didn’t the Torah say what should happen if a man takes a women . He must take her as his wife . Deuteronomy 22:28-29

  15. Susan Waterman says

    As long as I have studied the Torah I have always had this question. Why do we see Jacob’s name being changed to Israel and we know what Yehovah says…”no longer be called Jacob”

    28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Gen 32:28 NKJ)
    10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. (Gen 35:10 NKJ)

    So why in the Torah is he still called Jacob in some places and Israel in others? For example…

    20 And Jacob set a pillar on her grave, which is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day.
    21 Then Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
    22 And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: (Gen 35:20-22 NKJ)

    NKJ Genesis 37:1 Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
    2 This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father.
    3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. (Gen 37:1-3 NKJ)

    It occurs elsewhere but I am curious about it.

  16. Bill Tessore says

    The “kiss of death” notion is something I’ve heard as well, but there was no supportive evidence offered. However, I think Esau’s intent is evident by his conduct. That is, meeting Jacob with 400 men. Really? What would Esau need with that many men if he had nothing but brotherly love for Jacob? And as for the issue of the young man that took Dina’s virginity and THEN asked for her hand, I agree with Nehemiah. Jacob didn’t like it, but he knew the law. The young man should in deed have married her since he’d already done what a husband is privolaged to do with his wife. By the same token, I suspect Yehovah allowed the destruction of the young man, his father, and all their men because as a statute set down by Abraham and Isaac, intermarriage with the Canaanites was not good. The statement by these men that the deal would make Ya’akov’s wealth theirs seems to support this thinking. But telling these men they would accept them as kin so long as they were circumcised, and then taking all their livestock and goods clearly showed that Reuben and Asher were not pure of heart either. Shalom Aleichem!

  17. Rick Winkler says

    Gen. 32:32 …and he was limping on his hip. (Stone’s translation)
    Gen. 33:3 Then he himself went on ahead of them and bowed earthward seven times until he reached his brother. (Stone’s)
    …And he bowed low to the ground (The Schocken Bible: Volume I)

    I have pain in my hip, and I know how difficult it is to get on to the ground and come up again to a standing position. Esau must have seen his brother, Jacob, struggling to bow low and rise up seven different times. Jacob may have had to use his shepard’s staff help him get down to the ground and to get up on to his feet. This may have had an impact on Esau and softened his heart toward his brother whom he was resolved to harm (why else would he had needed an army of 400 men). If this is true then the injury to Jacob’s hip may have saved his life.

  18. Frederick & Jennifer says


    We love all you guys! We eally appreciate each one of your individual input. We found ourselves cracking up a few times especially last week concerning the grafting into Levi *winks at Keith*.

    Comment on the teeth marks –
    We have heard this before as well and each time the Teacher will preface the comment with something to the effect that they have read this in a Rabbinical book/document.

    Be blessed~
    Frederick & Jennifer

  19. Chris & Sandra says

    We so enjoy the program, you guys should consider a daily study/thought for the day or something. It’s sad that we have to wait until next Thursday to hear you all again, we love it!!!

    Chris & Sandra Daniels
    Birmingham UK

  20. Natashia U says


    Just wanted to chime in and say thank you for the program. I live in Southern California and really enjoyed the discussion.

  21. Sandra says

    Love listening to these each week! Thank you Keith and Nehemiah, dont stop!!! 🙂

  22. J R Israel says

    Just thinking….If I was Esau and the last time I saw my brother was when I was a victim of Idenity theft by him…. would I see him as a criminal…oh and he holds my birthright…it is now in his name…would I get some help when he comes back…say 400 men just in case…..i mean this guy is tricky…?

  23. jamez says

    Hi im new here,love your show
    i just had a question about the thigh
    i understand what you said it means
    but then it says Israel does not eat of the sinew
    (which is upon the hollow of the thigh)
    would that be,does not eat the private parts,
    unless you interpret it as the hip bone

  24. Sylvia K says

    I always wonder how Dina felt about it all, she is never mentioned again. She had gone out to be with the girls of the land. Dina might have loved Shechem
    What about Judah’s behavior? He wasn’t supposed to be marrying outside the tribes and Tamar had to pose as a prostitute to conceive the ancestor of Jeshua because his sons would never have been suitable genetically.
    The story means to me that we can’t look to others to set our personal standards and we are always vulnerable to error.
    Best we talk to YHVH about things all the time like King David did.
    Thanks for Torah pearls and the opportunity to rant!

  25. marcy says

    You missed the best part of the story of Esau biting Jacob’s neck. His neck turned to ivory and Esau’s teeth were broken. The one wept because of his neck and the other wept because of his teeth. Said by Rabbi Jannai in Midrash Bereshit Rabbah 78:9 as quoted in Chanting the Hebrew Bible by Joshua Jacobson. No I don’t believe it either, but that is the citation.
    Shalom v’todah.
    P.S. Your website field won’t let me enter anything that resembles a website.

  26. Ester says

    Very interesting and enjoyable midrash, something to look forward to.
    So much to glean, love Nehemia’s pearls of -having and maintaining a relationship with YHWH, and not adding up merits and demerits-and combination of doing and praying with YahuWah-Peleg meaning Hidden, -Benoni meaning Son of my strength, instead of Sorrow which is the common translation but not so in the Hebrew Bible-precious insights indeed.
    And Keith Johnson-wrestling and prevailing should be the hallmark of Torah keepers, Amein; and for emphasising -outward circumcision but not of the heart which is full of evil inclinations will not be of YHWH-is so enriching.
    Thank you for these valuable weekly pearls, Jono.

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