Mel Alexenberg
Author of "Through a Bible Lens"

Torah Tweets for Jerusalem Day


The guest blogger for Jerusalem Day/Yom Yerushalayim is my creative granddaughter Shirel Alexenberg who was born in Jerusalem.  She celebrated the liberation of Jerusalem by photographing the Old City.  Shirel is written with the same Hebrew letters as Israel.  She is a student of communications and Jewish thought at Herzog College.

Ben Zakai Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem

Naso/Lift up (Numbers 4:21-7:89)

May God bless you and safeguard you.  May God make His countenance enlighten you and grant you grace.  May God lift His countenance to you and grant you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

An imperviousness to God’s intervention in history plagues our generation.  A series of wondrous events is taking place before us. Yet blind eyes fail to see the hand of God and deaf ears fail to hear the Divine call guiding history. (Rabbi A. I. Kook)

Liberate people who are blind though they have eyes and deaf thought they have ears.  (Isaiah 43:8)

Naso’s section about the Tabernacle’s dedication is read on Hanukah to celebrate the 165 BCE liberation of Jerusalem from foreign occupation.

Shirel photographed the 17th century Raban Yohanan Ben Zakai Synagogue rebuilt after having been demolished by the Arabs in 1948.

It stands on the site of the Beit Midrash of Yohanan ben Zakai who established the Sanhedrin after the destruction of the Second Temple.

On the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount are huge stones from a massive arch wrecked by the Roman legions 2 millenia ago.

Today, Israeli flags adorn walls of the rebuilt Jewish Quarter of the Old City to celebrate the anniversary of restored Jewish sovereignty.

Only the Jews have made Jerusalem its sovereign capital since King David moved it from Hebron three millennia ago.

In 1967, Israel restored its sovereignty over all of Jerusalem after liberating it in a war waged by the Arabs to annihilate Israel.

Meir Yehuda Getz, late Rabbi of the Western Wall, restored the Yohanan Ben Zakai Synagogue and Beit El Kabbalists’ Yeshiva that he headed.

Shirel’s father Ron has studied for many years at this yeshiva with its current head Rabbi Yisrael Avihai from Yeroham where Shirel lives.

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.