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, November 2, 2010

Hayay Sarah (Sarah’s lifetime) חיי שרה

Women, Water and Loving Kindness

Rebecca came out carrying a jug on her shoulder.  When she went down to the well and drew water, I said to her, “Please give me a drink.”  She hurried and lowered her jug and said, “Drink, and I will also water your camels.” (Genesis 24:45)
רבקה יצאת וכדה על שכמה ותרד העינה ותשאב ואמר אליה השקיני נא. ותמהר ותורד כדה מעליה ותאמר שתה וגם גמליך אשקה.

This week’s posting from the shores of the Sea of Galilee is about women, water and hesed (loving kindness), both human and divine.

On Shabbat, we heard “Hayay Sarah,” the only torah portion named for a woman, read from a torah scroll in Casa Donna Gracia in Tiberius.

We stayed at a hotel built around a museum honoring Donna Gracia, a pioneering Zionist woman who convinced the Sultan to grant her Tiberius.

Rebecca’s water jug linked itself to Donna Gracia’s 500th birthday, Miriam’s well, and religious Zionist women studying the arts.

Rabbi Isaac Luria taught that after moving through the desert with the Israelites, Miriam’s well ended up under the Sea of Galilee.

Rebecca’s hesed linked itself to divine hesed today where Miriam’s well below joins rain from above to fill Israel’s primary water source.

Make the wind blow and the rain descend  משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם (recited in morning, afternoon and evening prayers)

Dark rain clouds hovered as we descended to Tiberius to spend Shabbat with faculty of Emuna College where Mel heads the School of the Arts.

As we checked into Casa Donna Gracia, we were greeted by a mannequin representing Donna Gracia who preceded Herzl by four centuries.

With the water level of the Sea dangerously low, we were disappointed that the rain clouds dissipated as we walked to the waterfront.

On Sunday, we drove to the east side of the Sea where egrets strolled between shells and stones at the water’s edge.

Our oldest grandson Or photographed his youngest brother Razel reaching out for the surf during their summer trip to the Sea of Galilee.

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