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)


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vayigash (Approached) ויגש

No Longer a Lost Tribe
Joseph said to his brothers, "Please, come close to me." When they came close, he said, "I am Joseph your brother!"  (Genesis 45:4)
ויאמר יוסף אל אחיו גשו נה אלי ויגשו ויאמר אני יוסף אחיכם

The reuniting of Joseph with his brothers after two decades of separation is the most emotionally charged portion of the Bible.

Bnei Menashe [Children of Manasseh] came to mind as we thought about our lives in relation to Joseph’s reuniting with his brothers.
Amazing news! Bnei Menashe, the descendants of Joseph’s son Manasseh, one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, is no longer lost.

They have been found living in northeastern India near the border with Burma.
Today, the children of Manasseh are reuniting with their family in the Land of Israel after a 27 century separation.

Throughout their long exile, they continued to observe the Sabbath, eat kosher food, and celebrate the biblical festivals.
A Google search for "Bnei Menashe" brought us to Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org) active in making this Zionist miracle come true.

Mel contacted its chairman Michael Freund who put us in contact with Tzvi Khaute who came on aliyah 10 years ago from India.
Tzvi shared photos of his son Yaacov's bar mitzvah celebration this Hanukah posted here.  On the bar mitzvah invitation, he wrote:    

And God said to Jacob [Yaacov], "Return to the land of your fathers and to your native land, and I will be with you."  (Genesis 31:3)
In next week's Torah portion Vayehi, Jacob blesses his grandson Manasseh.
 
 

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