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, March 6, 2011

Pekudei (Reckonings) פקודי

Zionist Miracle
Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur of the tribe of Judah did all that God commanded Moses.  With him was Oholiav ben Ahisamakh of the tribe of Dan, a carver, weaver, and embroiderer using sky-blue, purple and crimson wool, and fine linen. (Exodus 38:22, 23)
ובצלאל בן אורי בן חור למטה יהודה עשה את כל אשר צוה יהוה את משה ואתו אהליאב בן אחיסמך למטה דן חרש וחשב ורקם בתכלת ובארגמן ובתולעת חשני ובשש 

The book of Exodus began with the miracle of freeing the Israelites from slavery and draws to an end with the completion of the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle was a major collaborative art project under the aesthetic direction of 2 master artists from the tribes of Judah and Dan.
This great biblical miracle pales in comparison to the Zionist miracle in our time that we too often fail to see.
The Exodus story tells of liberating one nation of thousands from enslavement in the one country of Egypt after hundreds of years of exile.
We are living the liberation of millions of Jews from scores of countries after thousands of years of exile, bringing them home to Israel. 
Being an integral part of this Zionist miracle, unprecedented in world history, offers enthralling creative opportunities for an artist.
Mel has the amazing privilege as Head of Emunah College School of the Arts in Jerusalem to teach descendants of both Bezalel and Oholiav.   
Creative young women from the tribes of Judah and Dan work together there in degree programs in art, graphic design and theater.
His students from the tribe of Dan were flown out of Ethiopia to join their brethren from the tribe of Judah as fellow artists.
In the 16th century, David Zimra, Chief Rabbi of Egypt, declared that "those who come from Ethiopia are without a doubt the tribe of Dan."
In 1973, Ovadia Yosef, Israel's Chief Rabbi, confirmed the Jewish identity of the Beta Israel Ethiopian community as being the tribe of Dan.

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