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, October 15, 2010

Bereshit (In the beginning) בראשית

Creation of the World at Our Doorstep

God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good.  It was evening and morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31) 
וירא אלוהים את כל אשר עשה והנה טוב מאד ויה ערב ויהי בוקר יום הששי 

On the first day of our honeymoon, we bought a cactus plant. On the 42nd year of our honeymoon, our daughter Iyrit bought us this cactus.

Red-leafed plants grow in front of our house.  A cat hides in the leaves between our door and a pet shop selling goldfish.

Our dog Snowball sits under our kitchen table.

Miriam reads Perek Shira everyday with its 85 “songs” of God’s creations that together create the great symphony of biodiversity.

The climax of Perek Shira is the song of the dog (KeLeV - KoL LeV - all heart).  We learn gratitude to The Creator from a dog’s loyalty.

Haim Vital’s eulogy for the great kabbalist HaAri caps his vast achievements with his ability to converse with birds.

The mysteries of Creation are best revealed through dialog with other species. Snowball teaches us daily about these mysteries.

God blessed the 7th day and declared it holy, for it was on this day that God ceased for all the work of Creation for us to continue. (Genesis 2:3)
ויברך אלוהים את יום השביעי ויקדש אתו כי בו שבת מכל מלאכתו אשר ברא אלוהים לעשות

Miriam recycled one mitzva for another.  She pressed cloves into our Sukkot etrog (citron) for a sweet smell to mark the end of Shabbat.

There is no seventh image in the blog posts since Shabbat is a Non-Art Day that precludes photography.