Beginning In the Beginning

Artists Mel and Miriam Alexenberg celebrated their 52nd year of marriage by collaborating on the "Torah Tweets" blogart project. During each of the 52 weeks of their 52nd year, they posted six photographs reflecting their life together with a tweet text that relates the weekly Torah reading to their lives.

Unlike the biblical narrative that begins “In the Beginning,” a blog begins at the end. A blog displays its narrative in reverse chronological order with the most recent post appearing first. This blog was created to reverse the order of the blog posts in the “Torah Tweets” blog to begin in the beginning.

The Alexenbergs invite other couples, individuals, and families to join them celebrating their lives through creating their own spiritual blog.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Deuteronomy 2: A Blog as a Torah Art Form

Va'ethanan /Implored (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

Do not make yourself a carved form or static image of that which is in the heaven above or on the earth below or in the water beneath the earth. (Deuteronomy 5:8)


The second of the Ten Commandments, not exclusively addressed to artists, asks us not to transform living processes into inert forms.

YHVH is a verb, not a noun.  It combines the words for was, is and will be, linking past and present to redemptive future.
Do not freeze the process of creation and historical process into fixed images that limit our experience of an infinite God.

A blog is an ideal Torah art form, a log of a living process in a networked world, rather than still life entombed in a golden frame.
Sunday, 7 Av:  Our youngest grandchild, Avraham Matityahu, is playing in our living room.  He is named for Mel's father and uncle.

Monday, 8 Av:  Mel was at Ariel University to send papers documenting his life to Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian in Washington.
Tuesday, 9 Av:  We mourn the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem resulting from the lack of love for each other despite differences.

Our family bar mitzvah: Black hatted Lubavich Hasidim dance with Belz Hasidim with fur striemels and religious Zionists with knitted kipot.   
Wednesday, 10 Av: Every year, we light a memorial candle honoring Mel's father, Avraham ben Mordecai, who passed away on the 10th of Av.

He always made people happy.  In his death, he extended the day of national mourning rather than disrupt the flow of mourners' lives.
Thursday, 11 Av:  It's our granddaughter Tali's 18th birthday.  She's a counselor at Camp Ramah and will be serving in the IDF in the fall.

Friday, 12 Av:  Don't make a carved form or static image. The Jewish thing to do is make art to eat.  We made a banana cake for Shabbat. 
Miriam measured out the ingredients while Mel mashed the bananas.  Our art is a tasty version of Internet images of the surface of Mars.       

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