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 6: Tune Out, Turn Off, Unplug

Mishpatim/Ordinances (Exodus 21:1-24:18)

Six days shall you accomplish your activities and on the seventh day you shall desist. (Exodus 23:12)  The seventh day is Sabbath... you shall not do any creative work. (Exodus 20:10)
 
As slaves under Egyptian oppression, the Israelites were forced to work incessantly with no breaks. Their time was not their own.
A day of rest was a revolutionary concept in the ancient world with power today to free us from addiction to digital technologies.

The Sabbath was given at Sinai as a gift for all humanity, a gift particularly valuable to everyone in our fast paced postdigital world.
In our home on the Sabbath, computer, TV, radio, mobile phones and landlines remain silent.

On day 7, we don't e-mail, don't tweet on Twitter, don’t write on Facebook walls, don't link on LinkedIn, don't Google, don't blog.
We don't travel the information or asphalt highways. Pollution from information overload and carbon emissions is stopped cold on day 7.   

No banks of TVs, bank ATM's, phone sales, wireless access to all Israeli citizens for issuing gas masks, nor coffee shop video totems.   
Shabbat is Ecology Day, a day we leave the world the way we got it, a joyous day set aside to take pleasure in divine creation. 

Shabbat is also a Non-Art Day on which we stop making all art – postdigtal, digital, and pre-digital. 
All activities inappropriate on Shabbat are derived from the 39 craft categories that went into making the Tabernacle.

Shabbat is a divine design to help make us be more human.  It offers us a quiet pool of time for enjoying family and friends.
On the eighth day, we can return with renewed energies to being partners of God in continuing creation. 

We can enjoy the technological wonders of our era knowing that we are free to tune out, turn off, and unplug on the next Shabbat

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