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 9: The Eighth Day

Ha'azinu/Give ear (Deuteronomy 32:1-52)

Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, O earth hear the words of my mouth.  May my teaching drop like rain, may my words flow like dew, like downpours upon plant leaves and like raindrops on blades of grass. (Deuteronomy 32:1-2)
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for God has spoken. (Isaiah 1:2)


Yesterday, we were blessed by the first rain after Israel’s dry summer that invites fresh growth to sprout from the wet earth.
Moses gave us Torah, spiritual drops from heaven that create wellsprings that nourish the material blessings of daily life.

Moses could only see the Land of Israel from a distant mountain top.  Isaiah lived in the midst of the complexities of life in the Land.
Isaiah's vision of bringing spirituality down into all aspects of everyday life reaches a higher level than Moses' view from above.

Ha'azinu summarizes the Torah for the Israelites as they are about to enter the Land of Israel.
We repeat here one image from each of the Five Books of Moses that summarize our life in Israel today.

Genesis. We photographed all the days of Creation within ten steps of our front door.  The red leaves are the creation of the third day.

Exodus. Our granddaughter plays at welcoming Shabbat when we tune out, turn off, unplug, and rest from our creating to honor God's.
Leviticus. All torah is in a potato if we reveal it by carving out letters that have no separate existence from the potato itself.

Numbers. Hamas charter:  "Jews hide behind trees that cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him."
Deuteronomy. Bringing the blue of sky down into the red (adom) of earth (adamah) lowers spirituality into the earth-bound world of physical reality.

We return to Genesis as we rewind the Torah scroll and begin again. On the eighth day, we become the partners of God in the continuing creation.
Miriam recycled our Sukkot etrog (citron) by pressing cloves into it, creating a refreshing scent at the conclusion of Shabbat every week.

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