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 blog was created to reverse the order of the blog posts in this blog to begin in the beginning.

See the blogs for the books Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media and Photograph God: Creating a Spiritual Blog of Your Life Both books invite you to explore creative ways to photograph all that happens in your everyday life while crafting a vibrant dialogue between your life story and the biblical narrative.

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)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shemot (Names) שמות

Herzl at a Herzliya Car Wash
And these are the names of the Children of Israel (Exodus1:1)
ואלה שמות בני ישראל

We spent Shabbat Shemot (Names) in Herzliya named for Theodore Herzl, the towering figure of modern Zionism.
Driving to the hotel, we photographed a laser-cut steel portrait of Herzl at the entrance to Herzliya peering down on a car wash.
The banner on the water tower advertises the celebration of Herzl's 150th birthday and the founding of the city Herzliya 85 years ago.
We had lunch on the hotel patio overlooking the pool and sea.  We felt all was going right when we were given the key to room 52.
Miriam's mother lived at Beit Juliana, the Dutch parents' home in Herzliya, until she passed away 2 years ago at 102. 
As founder of the Dutch Zionist Organization and chief rabbi of Holland, Miriam's great-grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dunner, knew Herzl.
Our son Moshe Yehuda earned his BA and MA at Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya where he is assistant director of international programs.
Mel's grandfather, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Kahn, participated in the 4th Zionist Congress in London in 1900 chaired by Herzl.
Herzl wrote how he imagined the Jewish State would be in his 1902 utopian novel Altneuland (OldNewLand).
We photographed the yachts at the Herzliya Marina and the Imaginarium shop in the Herzliya Marina Mall.
The main character in Herzl's book arrives at the newly created Jewish State in a yacht from his exile on an isolated Pacific island.
When Sokolov translated Herzl's novel into Hebrew, he gave it the title Tel Aviv, Tel an archeological site and Aviv springtime.
On Sunday, we went to the Tel Aviv port to buy a new light fixture for our dinning room and had lunch at the water's edge.
Then I came to the exiles, to Tel Aviv…. and I dwelt where they were dwelling. (Ezekiel 3:15)

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