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)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Torah Tweets Blogart Project in Book on Smartphones, Social Media and Spirituality

"Photograph God: Creating a Spiritual Blog of Your LIfe gives us an amazing perspective on our own existence, especially in the age of interconnected iPhone culture." - Prof. Michael Bielicky, Head of Department of Digital Media/Postdigital Narratives, University of Art and Design/ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

“Mel Alexenberg offers a scintillating experiment in creativity. His work is an invitation to deepen your spiritual sensibilities as you extend your imagination.” - Jan Phillips, author of God Is at Eye Level: Photography as a Healing Art    

Photograph God is an intellectually exciting book that stimulates the sensory palate.  Dr. Alexenberg shares in-depth, meaningful insights about encountering God in the creative process through photography.  Using photography as the vehicle, we are guided, one idea at a time, to an understanding of what the author means by, ’looking up, looking out, and looking inward.’”  -  T. Mandel Chenoweth, Head of the Art Education Department, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma

“Mel Alexenberg transforms what sounds like blasphemy - "capturing" God in photographs and restricting Him to two-dimensional images - into a mystical exercise as we open our eyes to the Divinity found in our everyday lives. The book's wonderful synthesis between spirituality and technology, heaven and earth, is exciting and thought-provoking.”  - Rabbi Chanan Morrison, author of Gold from the Land of Israel

“One of art’s most complete and compelling integrations of the sacred and profane.  Mel Alexenberg shows the way to the divine via digital imagery and heightened perception of its presence in the moving face of every person, place, and thing.  It reads like a swift and soulful breeze.  I love every “byte” of it.”  - Dr. Shaun McNiff, author of Earth Angels: Engaging the Sacred in Everyday Things, University Professor, Lesley University, Cambridge                                                                                                                                                     
“There are many parallels in Christian thought and deed that should allow this excellent book to resonate with many people of faith. When I picked up Prof. Alexenberg's book, I happened to be reading a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer by an anonymous 14th century Christian mystic whose words find a parallel in Alexenberg's exhortation to seek the Divine out in the world in all that you see and photograph, and with love.  He has succeeded in creating a program for photographers, on a daily basis, to explicitly weave their faith into their art and ultimately, back into their worldview with a fresh perspective.”- Bob Weil, co-author of The Art of iPhone Photography

“Thinks brilliantly outside the box.  It synthesizes the realm of the abstruse and transcendent with the realm of the concrete and immanent.  It crisscrosses disciplines, from science and technology to philosophy and mysticism to art. This is one of those books that other thinkers will wish they had somehow thought about how to write, and to which readers of diverse sorts will simply respond by saying: wow!” - Dr. Ori Z. Soltes, author of Tradition and Transformation, Professorial Lecturer in Theology and Fine Arts, Georgetown University

Photograph God strikes a balance between Kabbalah and contemporary culture.  It is literate, wise, and easily accessible.” - Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know: Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning

"Alexenberg proposes that text and image - something as simple as photos taken with a smartphone, and multiplied in their resonance by the Internet - can be a consciousness raising tool." - Peter Samis, Associate Curator, Interpretation, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

“Mel Alexenberg’s new book is a wonderful sequel to The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness.  Both offer special insights into the postmodern nature of biblical consciousness as an open-ended living system.  His new book teaches how to photograph life’s journey by photographing God in every nook and cranny of life." – Dr. Jerome J. Hausman, author of Arts and the Schools, former Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and World Council member, International Society for Education through Art

"Menahem (Mel) Alexenberg is "tov ro'i," "goodly of vision." He sees godliness and goodliness in even the most mundane, and instructs others to behold that vision. We are blessed to have such a wise teacher in our midst." - Rabbi Bezalel Naor, author of A Kabbalist’s Diary and The Limit of Intellectual Freedom: The Letters of Rav Kook, former head of institutes of higher Jewish learning in United States and Israel 
"I can feel your joy, warmth and good humor in your images. Your approach, while fundamentally spiritual and fired by a kindred spark as my own passion for seeing, is a mirror of a different sort of our mutual exploration of our humanity.” - Julie DuBose, author of Effortless Beauty: Photography as an Expression of Eye, Mind and Heart, Director, Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography, Colorado

“In his sophisticated and highly literate book, Prof. Alexenberg weaves in a playful way the threads between contemporary digital culture and traditional Jewish wisdom.  In an original way, he invites us to connect the networked world of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, WhatsApp and Blogspot, with the concept of the unseen God.  - Dr. Yael Eylat Van-Essen, author of Digital Culture: Virtuality, Society and Information, teaches new media at Tel Aviv University and the Holon Institute of Technology, Israel

“A mystical computer program for spiritual seeing.” – Rabbi Dr. Shimon Cowen, Director, Institute for Judaism and Civilization, Australia

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