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)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mishpatim (Ordinances) משפטים

Tune Out, Turn Off, Unplug
Six days shall you accomplish your activities and on the seventh day you shall desist. (Exodus 23:12)  The seventh day is Sabbath... you shall not do any creative work. (Exodus 20:10)

As slaves under Egyptian oppression, the Israelites were forced to work incessantly with no breaks. Their time was not their own.
A day of rest was a revolutionary concept in the ancient world with power today to free us from addiction to digital technologies.
The Sabbath was given at Sinai as a gift for all humanity, a gift particularly valuable to everyone in our fast paced postdigital world.
In our home on the Sabbath, computer, TV, radio, mobile phones and landlines remain silent.
On day 7, we don't e-mail, don't tweet on Twitter, don’t write on Facebook walls, don't link on LinkedIn, don't Google, don't blog.
We don't travel the information or asphalt highways. Pollution from information overload and carbon emissions is stopped cold on day 7.    
No banks of TVs, bank ATM's, phone sales, wireless access to all Israeli citizens for issuing gas masks, nor coffee shop video totems.    
Shabbat is Ecology Day, a day we leave the world the way we got it, a joyous day set aside to take pleasure in divine creation. 
Shabbat is also a Non-Art Day on which we stop making all art – postdigtal, digital, and pre-digital. 
All activities inappropriate on Shabbat are derived from the 39 craft categories that went into making the Tabernacle.
Shabbat is a divine design to help make us be more human.  It offers us a quiet pool of time for enjoying family and friends.
On the eighth day, we can return with renewed energies to being partners of God in continuing creation. 
We can enjoy the technological wonders of our era knowing that we are free to tune out, turn off, and unplug on the next Shabbat.    

1 comment:

  1. this is a wonderful idea, I am resolved to put it into practice.
    Thank you for sharing.