18 April 2016

Read B’reshit (In the beginning) as B’reshet (In the network)

From Breaking Israel News, April 13, 2016, http://www.breakingisraelnews.com

“In the network, God created media systems for creating heaven and earth.  When the earth was absolutely empty and dark, God created light and separated between light and darkness (1 and 0, on and off).” (Genesis 1:1-1:4)

A creative translation of the first verses of Genesis from the original Hebrew offers the Creation narrative in postdigital perspective.

We can read the first word of the Bible B’reshit (In the beginning) as B’reshet (In the network).  In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew word et appears twice, before heaven and before earth.  “In the beginning God created et the heaven and et the earth.”  Since English has no equivalent for the word et that links a verb to a noun, it drops out in translation.  et is spelled alef-tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Spanning the full set of 22 Hebrew letters, et symbolizes media systems.

Wikipedia uses my definition of “postdigital” as the humanization of digital technologies through interplay between digital, biological, cultural, and spiritual systems.

My new book PHOTOGRAPH GOD: CREATING A SPIRITUAL BLOG OF YOUR LIFE https://israel365.com/store/books/photograph-god-creating-a-spiritual-blog-of-your-life/ brings postdigital concepts into the everyday world.  The book’s cover shows the photo of Miriam pressing cloves into an etrog (a citrus fruit grown in Israel).  By combining two of God’s creations, we create something new that has spiritual meaning for marking the conclusion of the Sabbath.         


The media system of heaven, the spiritual realm, is written in the Torah with Hebrew letters that form words.  The media system of earth, the physical realm, is written with electrons and protons that form atoms and molecules.  The media system of the digital realm returns us to the primeval binary creation of darkness and light, 0 and 1.  It is written with the binary digits 0-1 called bits that form bytes.   Every blog, website, video, song, and text that you access in the Internet is written with the binary system of the first day of Creation.

The Lubavticher Rebbe Menachem M. Schneerson, the 20th century’s greatest Hasidic leader educated as a scientist, recognized the spiritual power of the Internet early on.  The Rebbe teaches: “The divine purpose of the present information revolution, which gives an individual unprecedented power and opportunity, is to allow us to share knowledge – spiritual knowledge – with each other, empowering and unifying individuals everywhere. We need to use today’s interactive technology not just for business or leisure but to interlink as people – to create a welcome environment for the interaction of our souls, our hearts, our visions.”


My wife Miriam and I created the “Torah Tweets” blogart project to celebrate our 52nd year of marriage.  It developed into my book PHOTOGRAPH GOD: CREATING A SPIRITUAL BLOG OF YOUR LIFE.  During each of the 52 weeks of our 52nd year, we posted photographs reflecting our life together with texts that relate the weekly Torah reading to our lives.  We disseminated our weekly “Torah Tweets” posts worldwide through the Blogosphere and Twitterverse.  You can see our blogart project at http://bibleblogyourlife.com.

The PHOTOGRAPH GOD book invites others to create their own Bible blogs that link their unfolding life stories with the Bible’s storyline.  Bible blogging offers a powerful way to express spirituality in an age of smartphones and selfies.

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