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)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Noah נח

Tree of Renewed Life

Noah knew that the water had subsided from the earth when the dove came back to him with a freshly-plucked olive leaf in its beak. (Genesis 8:11)
ותבא אליו היונה לעת ערב והנה עלה זית טרף בפיה וידע נח כי קלו המים מעל הארץ.

A leaf symbolizes renewed life after the flood.  Without photosynthesis in green leaves there would be no life on this planet.

Miriam is fascinated by tree barks that document the renewal of life where new leaves grow out from their scars.
We photographed an olive branch and ficus trees at the end of our street that have enchanted Miriam for years.
From clay, she formed tree-like, life-size, branchless forms with gnarls, fissures and fractures that were exhibited in a Washington museum.
Mel’s paintings of leaf cross-sections from photomicrographs were exhibited at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.

It is a tree of life for those who grasp it…. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:18, 3:17)
עץ חיים היא למחזיקים בה ותומכיה מאושר. דרכיה דרכי נעם וכל נתיבתיה שלום.

The biblical story of the repopulation of the earth called for multiple ways and paths that respect human diversity.

Not heeding the divine call to honor different languages, ethnicities, and nationalities led to the disastrous totalitarian Tower of Babel.

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