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)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Re'eh (See) ראה

 Purple People

See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse….  God has chosen you from all the peoples  on the face of the earth to be a special people. (Deuteronomy 11:26, 14:2) ראה אנכי נתן לפניכם היום ברכה וקללה  ובך בחר יהוה להיות לו לעם סגלה מכל העמים אשר על פני האדמה

In Hebrew, am segulah, a special people, is related to am segol, a purple people.
The Jewish People is assigned a special role to teach what every artist knows – that purple emerges from mixing blue with red.
Bringing the blue of sky down into the red (adom) of earth (adamah) lowers spirituality into the earth-bound world of physical reality.
Those who see spiritual sparks emerging from all aspects of their lives are blessed.  It is a curse to not to be able to see these sparks.
The biblical charge to be a purple people is followed by rules for kosher eating, a spiritual practice rooted in daily mundane choices.
It teaches that spirituality mixed into ordinary material experiences can transform them into moments of extraordinary significance.
We live above a shopping center in Petah Tikva where purple jumps out at us in every shop:
Purple plums in greengrocer Avi's store. A purple vessel for ritual hand washing before meals in Shimon's mezuzah and tefillin store.
Purple shirts in Batya's menswear store. Tinkerbelles in purple boxes in Yosi's toy store.
Hamsters in purple cages in Liat's pet shop. And stamps with purple flowers in the post office.         

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