A New Perspective on an Old Story

June 11, 2024

A few weeks ago, I signed on to Israel Bible Plus and chose a course to listen to. There are a lot of courses to choose from, by the way! I saw Sepha Kirshblum’s name on the list and thought, “Amazing. I know that Sepha is a passionate educator who specializes in teaching the Hebrew Bible and Jewish Thought. And hey, She’s speaking about a really great topic. Cain and Abel!”’ With an AirPod in one ear, my Israel Bible opened in front of me, and a paper and pen on my desk, I got to work listening…and learning.

And let me tell you – I was not prepared for what I heard!

But before I reveal more, I want to highlight that this is just one example of the incredible insights you can gain from Israel Bible Plus. The platform offers a wealth of carefully curated and reviewed courses on a multitude of topics, each designed to deepen your understanding of the Hebrew Bible. Trust me, you’ll want to experience this firsthand.

One of the most mind-blowing things that Sepha Kirshblum shared in her series “When the Worst Day of Your Life Becomes the Best Day,” is that Cain is a human. Okay, yes, Sara – that’s obvious. But it was kind of a big deal to be one of those back then. There were only three other people in the world during that time in Genesis: Adam, Eve – and Abel of course. And Cain’s humanity in particular, is important since, as  Sepha Kirshblum goes on to share, it’s from this that we learn to understand what it means to sin. Or,  more importantly, what happens after we sin. You see, this sin is a pretty big deal. While, it’s not the original it is the second one in the Bible. Amazingly, through Cain’s story of sin, we learn that even when we make mistakes, there is an opportunity for growth, repentance, and a closer relationship with God.

How so? I’d love to spill the beans, but Sepha does it better, so please take a look at her class here!

Sepha’s class got me thinking though. If she could take Cain and flip his character on its head – providing nuance to a story where most people only see black and white – there must be other misunderstood Biblical characters and stories where we can reassess with a deep dive into the text. Surely, there are important lessons to learn from them, too. This is exactly the kind of transformative learning experience you can expect from Israel Bible Plus. The courses go beyond surface-level interpretations, offering deep, thoughtful analyses that can change how you view familiar stories.

Let’s explore another example how how a textual deep dive can bring deep meaning to Biblical stories:

The story of Moses could not have gotten started without the heroic measures taken by his mother. The evil Pharaoh had decreed that all Israelite baby boys be put to death and so, after Moses was born, his mother snuck him into a basket and placed it in the Nile river. It was a last act of desperation to save her child’s life.

The basket then floats by the river and, suddenly, is discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter! The boy is saved and, indeed, grows up in the palace, and thus the stage is set for the exodus to come. 

At first glance, it appears this scene is entirely coincidental. Moses’s mother happens to find the strength to place him in the Nile. He happens to survive the journey. Pharaoh’s daughter happens to see him. Indeed, God appears somewhat absent from the scene.

Yet deep readers of the text know that God is always present, and His hand is always at work. As the Hebrew word for Moses’s basket “Tevah”, appears only one other prominent time in the Hebrew Bible: the Ark of Noah! Yup, the basket of Moses and Noah’s Ark, though translated using different words in English, are the exact same word in the original Biblical Hebrew.

The meaning is clear: Just as God guided Noah’s Ark as he floated, helpless in the raging waters and was the source of his deliverance, so too did God guide Moses in his ‘Tevah’. Delivering Moses, and ultimately delivering the Israelities. None of it was a coincidence – God made sure that Moses was placed in the right vessel and at the right time to free His people. And the Bible expresses this in the most beautiful and poetic ways – by creating connections between these two famous stories.

This kind of profound, nuanced learning is what makes Israel Bible Plus so valuable. The platform offers a unique opportunity to dive deeper into the stories of the Bible, explore the complexities of its characters, and learn from their successes and failures.So, dear reader, I encourage you to dive deeper into the stories of the Bible, explore the complexities of its characters, and learn from their successes and failures. And what better way to do this than by subscribing to Israel Bible Plus? Each month you will get a new mini Israel Bible (in color, by the way) to use as a study guide. Then, with a wealth of classes and resources at your fingertips, you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a journey of discovery, just as I did with Sepha Kirshblum’s eye-opening class on Cain and Abel. Don’t miss out on this chance to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the Bible. Subscribe today and join a community of learners who are as passionate about uncovering the richness and wisdom of the Hebrew Bible as you and I are.

Israel Bible Plus

The Hebrew Bible is a very big book – actually, 24 books, to be exact. Studying it can feel very overwhelming. Where do you start?
Israel Bible Plus takes the stress out of Bible study, allowing you to focus on the most important task at hand: the Bible itself. Click here to bring even more Bible into your life!

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

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