Down-to-Earth Spirituality

Unlike the Torah narrative that begins “In the Beginning,” a blog begins at the end. This "Torah Tweets" blog displays its narrative in reverse chronological order with the most recent post appearing first. The new blog http://bibleblogyourlife.blogspot.com was created to reverse the order of the blog posts in this blog to begin in the beginning. Both the new book http://photographgod.com and blog invite you to explore creative ways to photograph God in all that happens in your everyday life while crafting a vibrant dialogue between your story and the Bible’s story.

Postdigital Narrative on Spiritual Dimensons of Everyday Life ///// "For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp." (Deuteronomy 23:15) ///// "Judaism does not direct its gaze upward but downward ... does not aspire to a heavenly transcendence, nor does it seek to soar upon the wings of some abstract, mysterious spirituality. It fixes its gaze upon concrete, empirical reality permeating every nook and cranny of life. The marketplace, the factory, the street, the house, the mall, the banquet hall, all constitute the backdrop of religious life." (R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik) ///// "It is not enough for the Jew to rest content with his own spiritual ascent, the elevation of his soul in closeness to G-d, he must strive to draw spirituality down into the world and into every part of it - the world of his work and his social life - until not only do they not distract him from his pursuit of G-d, but they become a full part of it." (R. Menachem M. Schneerson) ///// "If there is a religious agency in our lives, it has to appear in the manner of our times. Not from on high, but a revelation that hides itself in our culture, it will be ground-level, on the street, it'll be coming down the avenue in the traffic, hard to tell apart from anything else." (E. L. Doctorow) ///// "The first message that Moses chose to teach the Jewish people as they were about to enter the Land of Israel was to fuse heaven to earth, to enable the mundane to rise up and touch the Divine, the spiritual to vitalize the physical, not only as individuals but as an entire nation." (R. Abraham Y. Kook)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lekh Lekha (Go for yourself) לך לך

From Paramaribo and Brooklyn to Petah Tikva

Go for yourself from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
לך לך מארצך וממולדתך ומבית אביך אל הארץ אשר אראך.



Miriam was born in Paramaribo, Suriname, the former Dutch colony north of the Amazon jungle on the South American coast. 

She loved to be the first to walk on the freshly-raked sand on the floor of the Paramaribo synagogue where her father read the torah. 

Her family made aliyah in 1949. Six decades later, her synagogue made aliyah and was reconstructed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Mel was born in the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital (now Interfaith Hospital) and grew up in Queens.

He celebrated his bar mitzvah at his Uncle Morris’ shul on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn (now a Pakistani mosque).

We were married at a Jewish wedding hall on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn (now a Baptist church).

God said to Abram, “Raise your eyes and look out from where you are: northward, southward, eastward and westward.  For all the land that you see, I will give to you and to your offspring forever.”  (Genesis 13:14, 15)
שא נא עיניך וראה מן המקום אשר אתה שם צפנה ונגבה וקדמה וימה.

After being married for 10 years, we made aliyah with our children Iyrit, Ari and Ron to a two-room house in an orange grove in Ra’anana.

Each morning, a milkman on a donkey cart delivered milk.  The donkey was named Simha because he was born on Simhat Torah.

From Ra’anana in the west, we moved to Mount Carmel in the north, to Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi in the east, and to Yeroham in the south.

Ten years ago, we moved to an apartment in Petah Tikva with a porch facing orange groves as far as the eye can see.

All the orange groves are now gone.  New buildings are rising as far as the eye can see.


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