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)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bo (Come) בא


Song of the Dog
There shall be a great cry of anguish throughout all Egypt.... But among the Israelites, no dog shall howl for man or beast. (Exodus 11:6, 7)
והיתה צעקה נדלה בכל ארץ מצרים....ולכל בני ישראל לא יחרץ כלב לשנו למאיש ועד בהמה


In Egyptian mythology, the Dog God Anubis gains its powers from the howling of dogs at death to raise the soul to eternal afterlife.
When the dogs did not howl, the plague of the death of the first-born caused double anguish since eternal afterlife was denied.
The awesome quiet of the dogs at the freeing the Israelites from slavery gives dogs an honored place in Judaism.
Everyday, Miriam reads Perek Shira (Chapter of Song) that gives voice to each creation to praise God together in a grand symphony
The climax of Perek Shira is the song of the dog, "Come! Let us bow in humility and adoration, let us kneel before God our Maker." (Psalm 95:6). 
The loyalty of a dog to his master provides a model for human gratitude to God for everything in life.
 Today, we saw the development of the highest level of loyalty of a dog to its master at the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind (see http://israelguidedog.org/).
We witnessed dogs learning to control their instincts and desires to become the reliable eyes of their blind human partners.
At the Center, we saw puppies bred to combine the docile characteristics of the Labrador with chutzpah of the Golden Retriever. 
The dogs learn to follow the commands of their human partners, but to ignore them if they are in danger. 
They learn to navigate obstacle courses at the Center and then in the real world where their blind partners live and work.
Guide dogs turn the negative mitzvah to not place a stumbling block before the blind to a positive mitzvah to avoid the block.           
Do not place a stumbling block before the blind. (Leviticus 19:14) Accursed is one who causes a blind person to go astray on the road. (Deuteronomy 27:18)

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