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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Genesis 2: Tree of Renewed Life

Noah (6:9-11:32)

Noah knew that the water had subsided from the earth when the dove came back to him with a freshly-plucked olive leaf in its beak. (Genesis 8:11)

A leaf symbolizes renewed life after the flood.  Without photosynthesis in green leaves there would be no life on this planet.
Miriam is fascinated by tree barks that document the renewal of life where new leaves grow out from their scars.

For a tree has hope; if it is cut it will again renew itself, and its bough will not cease.  (Job 14:7) 

We photographed an olive branch and ficus trees at the end of our street that have enchanted Miriam for years.
From clay, she formed tree-like, life-size, branchless forms with gnarls, fissures and fractures that were exhibited in a Washington museum.

Mel’s paintings of leaf cross-sections from photomicrographs were exhibited at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
It is a tree of life for those who grasp it…. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:18, 3:17)

The biblical story of the repopulation of the earth called for multiple ways and paths that respect human diversity.
Not heeding the divine call to honor different languages, ethnicities, and nationalities led to the disastrous totalitarian Tower of Babel.

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