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)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Naso/Yom Yerushalayim (Lift up/Jerusalem Day) נשא/יום ירושלים

JeruSalem Is SeeingPeace
(Guest blogger for Naso/Yom Yerushalayim is our creative granddaughter Shirel Alexenberg who was born on Jerusalem Day 17 years ago.  She celebrated the liberation of Jerusalem photographing the Old City.  Shirel שיראל is written with the same Hebrew letters as Israel ישראל.  She is entering her final year of high school at Ulpanat Baharan.)
May God bless you and safeguard you.  May God make His countenance enlighten you and grant you grace.  May God lift His countenance to you and grant you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26) יברכך יהוה וישמרך יאר יהוה פניו אליך ויחנך ישא יהוה פניו אליך ושם לך שלום    

Rav Kook writes: "An imperviousness to God’s intervention in history plagues our generation.  A series of wondrous events is taking place before us. Yet blind eyes fail to see the hand of God and deaf ears fail to hear the Divine call guiding history."

Liberate people who are blind though they have eyes and deaf thought they have ears.  Isaiah 43:8    
Naso's section about the Tabernacle's dedication is read on Hanukah to celebrate the 165 BCE liberation of Jerusalem from foreign occupation.
Shirel photographed the 17th century Raban Yohanan Ben Zakai Synagogue rebuilt after having been demolished by the Arabs in 1948.
It stands on the site of the Beit Midrash of Yohanan ben Zakai who established the Sanhedrin after the destruction of the Second Temple.
When Jerusalem fell to the Romans, he reestablished his Beit Midrash in Yavne where a plan for survival for the next 2 millennia was created.
On the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount are huge stones from a massive arch wrecked by the Roman legions 1,941 years ago.
Today, Israeli flags adorn walls of the rebuilt Jewish Quarter of the Old City to celebrate the 44th anniversary of restored Jewish sovereignty.
Only the Jews have made Jerusalem its sovereign capital since King David moved it from Hebron three millennia ago.
From 70 to 1967, Jerusalem was ruled by foreign powers: Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arab Caliphates, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottomans, British and Jordanians.
In 1967, Israel restored its sovereignty over all of Jerusalem after liberating it in a war waged by the Arabs to annihilate Israel.   
And Meir Yehuda Getz, late Rabbi of the Western Wall, restored the Yohanan Ben Zakai Synagogue and Beit El Yeshivat Hamekubalim that he headed.
Shirel's father Ron has studied for many years at this yeshiva with its current head Rabbi Yisrael Avihai from Yeroham where Shirel lives.
May God lift His countenance to you and grant you peace. JeruSalem means SeeingPeace.

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