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The Characters You Do Not Know

The Characters You Do Not Know

By Ari Neuman
Culling the lessons from and exploring the stories of the minor characters in Tanach. You may recognize their names, but do you know anything about them?
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4.2. Who was Og?
You know the Midrashim. Let's try to understand why Hazal told Og's story the way they did. Make sure to have a Chumash available, seeing the textual parallels inside will be very helpful. 
April 19, 2021
4.1. Who was Chur?
What happened to Chur? He appears out of no where and then we never hear about him again... A closer look at who he was may help us unravel the mystery. 
April 07, 2021
3.10. Purim Special! Who was Charvona?
Who was Charvona and why do we also remember him favorably? 
February 22, 2021
3.9. Who were Mishael and Eltzafan?
They are Moshe and Aaron's first cousins. They may be behind the scenes, but they may be some of the founding members of a very important group of volunteers. Can you guess what I'm referring to? If not take a few minutes and learn something new. 
February 11, 2021
3.8. Who was Tziopra?
We know she is the daughter of Yitro and wife of Moshe, but what do we know about her? 
February 03, 2021
3.7. Who was Hira, the friend of Yehuda?
He is lurking in the background of the Yehuda and Tamar story, but his role seems irrelevant. What do we learn from his inclusion in the text of the Torah?
January 25, 2021
3.6. Who was Yocheved?
We know she is the mother of Moshe, but by name she is only mentioned 2X in the Bible. Yet Hazal read her into as much as they can. We will try to understand what may be motivating them from the text and an overall view of Moshe. 
January 10, 2021
3.5. Who was Shaul b. Shimon's Mother?
The Torah recounts the 70 souls going down to Egypt tribe by tribe. But for some reason Shaul is called Shaul b Hakenanis. Who is she? And why is she mentioned?
January 03, 2021
3.4. Who was Lemech?
A conversation in middle of a genealogy?! That breaks all of the rules.  The range of views to explain this anomaly in Hazal, Rishonim and Achronim is quite broad.  
December 27, 2020
3.3. Who were the Wives of Esav?
Yehudit, Basmat, Machala, Anah, Oholivama and Basmat the 2nd.  3,4,5 or 6?  What do we learn about Esav from his choice of wives?
December 10, 2020
3.2. Who was Elifaz?
He was the son of Esav and the father of Amaleik. Is he the link that can help us understand the Jewish relationship with Amaleik? Let's see how Hazal understood Elifaz. 
November 17, 2020
3:1 Who was Timna?
She was from a family of Cheiftans and the mother of Amaleik. But what do we know about her? And how does it help us better understand Amaleik? 
November 11, 2020
2.9. Who was Terach?
We all know Terach was the father of Avraham. We know many of the Midrashim that describe him as an idolater. But Hazal also see him as a convert to Avraham's cause. What we will attempt to do in this episode is understand where Hazal infer their fascinating backstory from. 
September 03, 2020
2.8. Who was Idit?
Her name doesn't appear in the text of the Bible, but her story is one that I'm sure you know. Turn the name around in your head and see if it turns into something. 
August 25, 2020
2.7. Who was Lot?
In this Episode we will delve into the character of Lot. We will focus on one of his character flaws and how it can be used as a foil for Avraham. You may know a little bit about Lot, but this might be an angle you've never heard before. 
August 20, 2020
2.6. Who were Aner, Eshkol & Mamrei? (Mostly Mamrei)
These were the friends of Avraham. They were his Emorite compatriots and members of Avraham's Brit. But How do they help us better understand Avraham? What textual breadcrumbs do Hazal use to build their story?
August 17, 2020
2.5. Who was Nachor?
Who was this mystery brother of Avraham. He will be very important because of his grandchildren and great grandchildren... Is there anything we can learn from him? 
July 20, 2020
2.4. Who was Haran?
We are going to be exploring the world of Avraham and all of the supporting characters that help us better understand the founder of Judaism. Go back to season 1 and listen to Nimrod as a part of the Avraham 360. 
July 13, 2020
2.3. Who was Hanoch?
He was the son of Yered and father of Mtzushelach, but what do we know about him? He walked with God, but died young... how would you make sense of that? Here are the approaches in Hazal
June 23, 2020
2.2 Who were the Dud-Brothers: Eldud and Meidud?
Something happens in the camp and Yehoshua wants them silenced. What happened? And who are these two mystery characters?
June 10, 2020
2:1 Who was Osnat B. Poti Fera?
She Marries Yosef and mothers the final two tribes. Who was this mystery matriarch? 
June 05, 2020
1:10 Who was Serach B. Asher?
We know she was Asher's daughter. Right...?
May 21, 2020
1:9 Who was the Mikalel (Spoilers: Dasan part II?)?
He curses someone. But why? What's the story behind the story? See Leviticus 24:10-23.
May 08, 2020
1:8 Who was Nimrod?
Who was Nimrod? Yes, he was a bully from Shinar. But the Rabbis see him as so much more. They see him as Avraham's arch nemesis. Come and learn how they build their case!
May 01, 2020
1:7 Who was Netanel B. Tzuar?
The Nasi of Shevet Yissachar. But what do we know about him...?! And how do we know it? We know he is the Nasi on day two of the inauguration. Why is he so worthy? Or is he? Tune in to find out! 
April 21, 2020
1:6 Who were Dasan & Aviram?
Who were these biblical antagonists? Before you start the episode answer this question: When does the Torah first introduce Dasan and Aviram? How do Hazal see Dasan and Aviram, and Why? And why is this dodgy duo so anti-Moshe?
April 13, 2020
1:5 Who was Elisheva?
Who was Elisheva? We are briefly introduced to her in Exodus 6:23 as the woman who marries Aharon HaKohen, but the Rabbis highlight how important she was for the success of her family and children. She was at the center of much celebration and mourning, join me to uncover the story and lessons of Elisheva!
March 27, 2020
1:4 Who was Devorah - Rebekah's Nurse?
Who was Devorah - Rebekah's Nurse? Come learn about the nanny who helped raise Rebekah, and maybe even Jacob and Esav. Discover how the Rabbis understand our brief introduction to Rebekah's nurse and how it reflects upon Rebekah eimainu herself.  
March 23, 2020
1:3 Who was Oholiav?
In the building of the Tabernacle we are introduced to some new characters. Most people spend the time learning about the head architect - Betzalel. But the Torah mentions a second character that often gets overlooked - Oholiav B. Achisamach. Who was he? What did he contribute? Why was he chosen to help Betzalel? To find out tune into The Characters You Do Not Know: Who was Oholiav B. Achisamach?
March 20, 2020
1:2 Who was Tzolofchad?
The Conservation of Biblical Characters and how linguistic parallels and thematic parallels help Hazal discover the story of Tzolofchad.
March 17, 2020
1:1 Who was Nun?
His name is familiar even to youngsters who study the bible, but most of us know nothing about him. Did he have any influence on who Yehoshua turned out to be? Where is he in the Exodus story? Why doesn't he ever show up?
March 16, 2020