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, January 5, 2011

Va'era (Appeared) וארא

Inner Beauty (Tiferet)

God spoke to Moses and said to him, "I am YHVH. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El Shaddai, but with My name YHVH I did not make Myself known to them." (Exodus 6:2, 3)
וידבר אלהים אל משה ויאמר אליו אני יהוה וארא אל אברהם אל יצחק ואל יעקב באל שדי ושמי יהוה לא נודעתי להם

We celebrated the marriage of Shmuel and Shevi this week at Kibbutz Hafetz Hayim.  Shmuel's father Steve and Mel are first cousins.
Our photos show Steve bringing the groom to his bride and the bride's parents escorting her to the hupa wedding canopy.
Under the hupa, Shevi walks around Shmuel and Steve blesses them.  The band greets the newlyweds and the dancing begins.
YHVH God said, "It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a compatible helper for him." (Genesis 2:18)

The beautiful dialogue between husband and wife that draws divine light into every aspect of their lives together is revealed in YHVH.
All the divine names in the Torah are not really names of God, but rather names for levels of divine light drawn down into everyday life.
The name YHVH revealed to Moses, usually translated as “God,” should be translated as “Is-Was-Will Be.”
It integrates past, present, and future of the verb "to be" while revealing the divine attribute of inner beauty (tiferet).
Tiferet is where masculine and feminine divine attributes meet to create the beautiful inner glow shared by a loving couple.
Tiferet is the beautiful integration of successfully (netzah) creating a lifelong relationship based upon loving kindness (hesed).
YHVH as the integrating Tiferet was revealed to Moses, while Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob only knew God as El (hesed) and Shaddai (netzah).    

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