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 23, 2011

Yitro (Jethro) יתרו

Contentment with Our Lot
You shall not covet your neighbor's house.  You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that is your neighbor's. (Exodus 20:14)
לא תחמד בית רעך לא תחמד אשת ראך ועבדו ואמתו ושורו וחמרו וכל אשר לרעך  

The Torah obligates us to do things and not do others (positive and negative mitzvot), but rarely legislates thought.
The greatest reward is to be so content with one's own lot that even thinking of envying anyone else never enters one's mind.
In the first years of our marriage, Miriam was home with three children while Mel earned a pitifully small monthly salary as a teacher.
Before the days of credit cards, we often found ourselves broke by the fourth week of each month.
We ate leftovers and often bought a bottle of liqueur with our last $2 to celebrate our wonderful life together.
Half century later, we planned this blog posting sitting together in a coffee shop enjoying upside-down coffee and an apple-cheese tart. 
We continued our discussion walking in a park enjoying monkeys' antics and elderly women petting and feeding the park's feral cats.
When we returned home, Snowball greeted us sitting beneath Mel's parents' wedding picture and ours.

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