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, March 13, 2011

Vayikra (And He Called) ויקרא

One 304,805-letter Word

The first word of Leviticus, Vayikra, begins with the letter vav meaning 'and' and ends with an unusually small letter alef.
Vav (and) joins the last sentence of Shemot-Exodus to the first of Vayikra-Leviticus in a continuous flow like a torah scroll unwinding.
The medium is an integral part of the message.  Public reading of the torah in synagogue must be from a spiraling scroll, not from a book. 
Small alef relates to a primeval time when the entire torah was written as one continuous word like the on-going flow of everyday life.
When the single 304,805-letter word was divided into 79,847 words, double letters written as one were separated.
The small alef reminds us of its separation from the alef following it in the word written alef lamed אאל, 'to' as in 'God called to Moses.'  
Scribes write Hebrew letters below a line.  The only letter that breaks through the line rising above it is the lamed, meaning 'to learn'.
Small alef symbolizes the humility of a learner open to growing.  Lamed invites the learner to break out of the box soaring to new heights.
When the torah scroll is rewound annually, lamed, the last letter of the torah, connects to beit, the first letter, to spell lev. 
Lev means 'heart.'  The heart of the torah is where the end of the torah flows into its beginning as an on-going stream of life.
SundayTrucks:  We see from our bedroom window trucks making their deliveries to the corner grocery store early in the morning.
MondayAmericanPizza: Mel had pizza for lunch in Jerusalem where he teaches.
TuesdayBook: Miriam holds the first copy of Mel's new book that explores narrative blogart as being both postdigital and Jewish.

WednesdayRain:  We were happy to wake up to the sound of rain in our parched land.  We photographed the puddle from our bedroom window.
ThursdayShopping:  We shopped for Shabbat at Avi's Kew Gardens Hills Fruit & Vegetable store across the street from out Petah Tikva home.

FridayBureakaBreakfast: We fed Moshe's mice staying with us until his wife Inbal (our granddaughter) and he could move into their new home.

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