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.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Leviticus 5: Banish Goldstone to the Jungle

Metzorah/Slanderer (Leviticus 14:1-15:33)

He shall take the live bird together with cedar wood, crimson wool and hyssop….  And he shall set the live bird free upon the open fields. (Leviticus 14:6, 7)

Rav Kook reads Metzorah as Motzi Shem Ra (to create a bad name for someone), a slanderer who defames others by his speech (lashon hara).
The slanderer not only afflicts his own body, clothes and house through lashon hara, but he threatens society through breakdown of trust.

Therefore, he is banished from his community to live in isolation and seclusion in the wild among animals and plants that speak no evil.
Goldstone should be banished to the Amazon jungle for defaming Israel with blatant lies as it defends itself against rocket attacks.      

Metzorah follows Shemini (kosher animals) to teach that what comes out of our mouths can be far more detrimental than what goes in.  (Rabbi Yisrael Salanter)
Rabbi S. R. Hirsch explains that the mighty cedar and hyssop weed with sheep wool and crimson bug dye symbolize all plant and animal life.

When banishment therapy has succeeded, cedar and hyssop are bound with a red woolen thread to symbolize rising above amoral nature.    
A bird flying free represents the potential to tweet truthful words that confirm the metzorah's rehabilitation from crowing hateful lies.  

Our grandson Or Alexenberg photographed migrating birds flying up from Lake Yeroham, a short bike ride from his Negev home.
This week, Or completed his service in Israel Defense Forces as Metzorah Goldstone acknowledged his malicious slander against the IDF.

Miriam was born and lived until she was 9 in Suriname (250 times the size of Israel) at the northern edge of the Amazon jungle.
The biodiversity of the Amazon jungle is unmatched.  It is home to far more species of flora and fauna than anyplace else on Planet Earth.

Goldstone would feel at home living with Amazon toucans, the greatest big-mouth birds in the world.    

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