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)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Behukotai (In my statues) בחקתי

Torah in a Potato
If you will walk in my statutes…I will keep my sanctuary in your midst. (Leviticus 26:3, 11) אם בחקתי תלכו ונתתי משכני בתוככם

Behukotai, the final chapter of Leviticus, sums up both the 3rd book of the Bible and the entire vision of our Torah Tweets blogart project.
This blog begins with the torah quote that sets its direction:  For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp (Deuteronomy 23:15).
The first Lubavicher Rebbe explains that the word hok (statute) is derived from the same root as engraving, hewing or carving out.
An engraved letter does not exist as a distinct entity independent of the material out of which it is carved. 
Hok suggests that torah study should be like carving letters out of everyday life so that torah and our lives are integrally one.
This mode of torah study is a deeper level than study from hand-written or printed letters that join ink and paper – two separate things.
The Talmud invites us to read HaLakHaH (Jewish law) as HaLikHaH (walking). 
Walk in my statutes teaches that we best come to know through movement in torah spaces creatively carved out of our lives.
If we make torah and our lives integrally one, we will be rewarded with material blessings of bountiful crops and abundant fruit.  
All the torah is in a potato if we reveal it by carving out Hebrew letters that have no separate existence from the potato itself.  
The blessings in the opening verses of Behukotai begin with alef (in im/if) and end with tav (in komemiyut/upright in verse 13).
Alef to tav is the entire alphabet, alef the 1st letter and tav the last.  The letter lamed in the word teLekhu/walk means to learn.   

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