This blog is a model of spiritual blogging that explores the interface between the biblical narrative, the wisdom of kabbalah, and digital technologies. It is developed in Prof. Alexenberg's 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 teach people of all faiths to craft a dialogue between one's emerging life story and the enduring biblical narrative.
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 26, 2014
Exodus 10: Non-Art Day
Vayakhel/And He assembled (Exodus 35:1-38:20)
Moses assembled the entire Israelite community and
said to them: "These are the things that God commanded you to do.Do all your creative work in six days, but
the seventh day shall be kept holy as a Sabbath, a day of complete rest for
God." (Exodus 35:1, 2)
As we celebrated the birth of our grandson Avraham
Matityahu, Miriam pointed out that Vayakhel will be his bar mitzvah
portion in 13 years.
The baby was named for Mel's father and uncle at the brit,
the ancient ritual of initiation into the Jewish people.
Reading Vayakhel to an assembled Jewish community
from a hand-written Torah scroll will be his rite of passage into manhood.
Unlike reading in Western culture, a private silent act of
the eyes, reading in Jewish life is a public act of chanting with full voice.
We photographed our new grandson the day he was born, his
sister Elianne welcoming him home on the 3rd day, and the brit on the
After holding the baby, Elianne took candlesticks, put a
doily on her head, covered her eyes and sang the blessing over Sabbath candles.
If it wasn't weekday play but the real thing, lighting the
candles would usher in a Non-Art Day in which we cease from all creative work.
While actively building the Tabernacle as a dwelling place
for God, Moses said to the assembled community: "Stop on day 7!"
He taught that creating holy architecture in time takes
precedence over building holy architecture in space.
The indestructible time architecture of Shabbat has kept the
Jewish people alive throughout millennia of wandering in troubled exile.
On day 7, we honor the divine artist by leaving the natural
world the way we got it.
The brit on day 8 symbolizes the human act of
intervening in nature.On day 8, we
partner with God in continuing the process of creation.