Mel Alexenberg
Author of "Through a Bible Lens"

Action Angels and Bicycles

I created the Torah Tweets blogart project with my wife Miriam to celebrate our 52nd year of marriage. During each of the 52 weeks of our 52nd year, we posted six photographs reflecting our life together with a text of tweets that relates the weekly Torah reading to our lives.

The Torah portion read in synagogues in Israel on May 9th is Behar/On the mountain (Leviticus 25:1-26:2). You can access it with the Torah Tweet text and all the photographs at the “Creating a Spiritual Blog of Your Life” blog. You can read creative explorations of each week’s blog entries in my book “Photograph God”.

My grandson Or cycling through the Negev where he lives

Leviticus 10: Action Angels and Bicycles

I am God your Lord who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan. (Leviticus 25:38)

When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall observe a Sabbath rest for God. For 6 years you may sow your field and for 6 years you may prune your vineyard and you may gather in its crop. But the 7th year shall be a complete rest for the land. (Leviticus 25:1-4)

(Guest blogger for Behar is our sabra grandson Or Alexenberg. He read Behar from the Torah at his bar mitzvah. He is a talented photographer and serious cyclist who completed his service in an IDF intelligence.)

Behar evokes loving care for the Land of Israel as we celebrate our 63rd Independence Day more than 3 millennia after our exodus from Egypt.

Miriam remembers her mother baking and decorating cakes for Israel’s 2nd Independence Day celebration in Hibat Tzion (Love of Zion).

In Behar, we are led from the exodus to receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai to entering our land with ecological consciousness.

Judaism is a way of life that emphasizes action, working and planting. However, 7th day and 7th year are Ecology Day and Ecology Year.

Angels in the World of Action (Asiyah) are bits and bytes of consciousness of everyday life called ofanim. Bicycles are ofanayim.

Or uses the most ecologically-friendly mode of transportation to bicycle from the verdant Galilee to the arid Negev where he lives.

Or loves the Land of Israel from the Banyas waters to the desert hills to the oasis lake at the edge of his home town of Yeroham.

Through his camera lens, Or reveals the beauty of a camel in the wilderness and a donkey and stray dogs that wandered into a playground.

Or photographed Lake Yeroham from a distant hilltop and the 63rd Independence Day celebration in the Yeroham town center.

About the Author
Mel Alexenberg is an artist, educator, writer, and blogger working at the interface between art, technology, Jewish thought, and living the Zionist miracle in Israel. He is the author of "Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media," "The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness," and "Dialogic Art in a Digital World: Judaism and Contemporary Art" in Hebrew. He was professor at Columbia, Bar-Ilan and Ariel universities and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies. His artworks are in the collections of more than forty museums worldwide. He lives in Ra’anana, Israel, with his wife artist Miriam Benjamin.
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