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 9: Photographing God

Emor/Say (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

You shall count for yourselves 7 complete weeks after the day following the Passover holiday when you brought the omer as a wave offering, until the day after the seventh week you shall count 50 days. (Leviticus 23:15-16)
God is the compassion, the strength, the beauty, the success, the splendor, and the foundation of everything in heaven and earth. (1 Chronicles 29:11)


We count each of the 49 days from when we were freed from our enslavement in Egypt until we arrived at Mt. Sinai – from Passover to Shavuot.
Unlike slaves who live repeated days of drudgery, free people can feel and appreciate the unique character to each day.

As each of the 49 days is counted, it is given a different name integrating one of the 7 divine attributes into one of 7 divine attributes.
Hesed: Compassion/Largess/Loving All; Gevurah: Strength/Judgment/Setting Limits; Tifert: Beauty/Aesthetic Balance /Inner Elegance;

Netzakh: Success /Orchestration /Eternity; Hod: Splendor/Gracefulness/Magnificence; Yesod: Foundation/Integrating All/Gateway to Action;

Malkhut: the world of action in space and time.

Mel photographed a Greek fishing boat in Crete that brought to mind the gevurah of his great-grandfather Elhanan, a fisherman in Salonika.
Mel asked his students at Ariel University to photograph each of the 6 attributes of feeling realized in their everyday world of malkhut.

Keren saw hesed as an elderly man responding to feral cats hungry for love and food.  He pets each one and portions out food for them.
Roni photographed the birth of a calf, an awesome event expressing tifert, deeply felt beauty of seeing new life coming into the world.

Esti's father breeds parrots.  She sees netzakh as a parrot chick succeeding in freeing itself from its egg continuing the cycle of life.
Yael sees hod as the glorious feeling of young lovers kissing. She photographed their shadow as the hed (echo) of the event.

Yesod is five generations. We celebrated our great-grandson Eliad's first birthday and the 100th birthday of Miriam's mother Anna Benjamin.

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