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)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pesach:Hag HaMatzot (Passover:Season of Our Freedom) חג המצות זמן חרותנו

Freedom in Crete
Keep the Holiday of Matzot.  Eat matzot for seven days. (Exodus 23:15)
את חג המצות תשמור שבעת ימים תאכל מצות

We celebrated the Season of Our Freedom participating in reestablishing a Jewish community in Crete where Jews lived for 2 millennia.
In 1944, the Nazis herded the Jews of this Greek island into a ship that was torpedoed. All 300 Cretan Jews drowned en route to Auschwitz.
For Pesach 2011/5771, 300 Jews flew into Crete from 3 continents to create a Jewish community in a holiday village overlooking Daios Cove.
The entire village was rendered kosher for Passover.  Circular hand-made matzot and rectangular machine-made matzot were served at meals.
Circular matzot symbolize idolatry.  Since words in the torah are written without vowels, calf (EGeL) can also be read as circle (EGuL).
The idolatrous transgression of the Israelites was their worship of Ra, the sun God represented in Egyptian art as a golden circle.
In a town north of Daios Cove, we watched an artist painting reproductions of Greek pagan images on urns. 
Hanukah, our other holiday of freedom, celebrates victory against forced imposition of Greek gods on the Jews in the Land of Israel.    
Rectangular matzot symbolize slavery.  The Egyptians enslaved the Israelites in the malben, meaning both brickyard and rectangle.
Mitzrayim, the biblical name of Egypt, means narrowness.  The exodus into the wide expanses of the Sinai desert expanded consciousness.  
The Daios Cove Jewish community recited Psalm 118 every day: From narrow straits I called out to God. God answered me with expansiveness. 
As we break matzot to eat them, we break out of the box and circle, both closed forms, breaking away from narrowness of thought.
Jewish consciousness is shaped by spiral forms, from torah scroll to DNA to tzitzit fringes to ram's horn shofar to spiral hallah bread.
Jews are called Am HaSePheR (People of the Torah Scroll).  The SPR root found its way into the words SPiRal, SPiRitual and inSPiRation.   
Some Jews grow spiral ear locks.  Hasidic singer Mordechai Ben David reclines in creative freedom as his peyot blow in the Cretan wind.   

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