This historic day was celebrated by my launching Rembrandt-inspired cyberangels from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to art museums in states in USA with places named JerUSAlem in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio that have my artworks in their collections. See my book Through a Bible Lens for conceptual background for this artwork.
A list of the locations of all 20 JerUSAlems in USA can be found at JerUSAlem-USA.
Art Museums in Tennessee, Arkansas, Maryland, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont, states with places named JerUSAlem, will join in future JerUSAlem-USA art events.
What are cyberangels?
“A ladder was standing on the ground, its top reaching up towards heaven as divine angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28: 12)
I discovered cyberangels when I was in a synagogue in Brooklyn listening to the chanting of the biblical portion about artists Bezalel and Oholiav building the Tabernacle. I was translating the Hebrew words into English in my mind when it struck me that the Bible’s term for “art” is malekhet makhshevet, literally “thoughtful craft.” It is a feminine term. Since I’m a male artist, I transformed it into its masculine form malakh makhshev, literally “computer angel.”
When the services ended, I ran to tell my wife Miriam that I discovered that my role as a male Jewish artist is to create computer angels. “To do what?” was her response. I reminded her of an article that our son Rabbi Ron Alexenberg had sent us a week earlier when he was archivist at HaRav Kook House in Jerusalem. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, a down-to-earth mystic who served as the chief rabbi of pre-state Israel, described the light in Rembrandt paintings as the light of the first day of Creation. I created the word “cyberangel” for my computer-generated angels inspired by Rembrandt’s drawings of angels as winged people.
Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama; 5,951 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 167 miles from Jerusalem, Alabama; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
University of Michigan Museum of Art 6,018 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 14 miles from Jerusalem, Michigan; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; 5,960 miles from Jerusalem, Israel: 305 miles from JerUSAlem, New York, or 0 Internet Cybermiles
Museum of Modern Art in New York; 5,960 miles from Jerusalem, Israel: 305 miles from JerUSAlem, New York, or 0 Internet Cybermiles
Everson Museum of Art in New York; 5,951 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 167 miles from Jerusalem, Alabama; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
Greenville Museum of Art in North Carolina; 6,180 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 211 miles from Jerusalem, Alabama; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio; 5,943 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 136 miles from Jerusalem, Ohio; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
Cincinnati Art Museum in Ohio; 6,195 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 228 miles from Jerusalem, Ohio; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
Hunter Museum of Art in Tennessee; 6,417 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 116 miles from Jerusalem, Tennessee; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
All these virtual flights are documented in the JerUSAlem-USA and blogs.
Although these museums are still closed by the coronavirus pandemic, cyberangels have the power to enter their virtual spaces. High Museum of Art represents an exemplary digital age response to the closure. On opening the museum’s website, you read: “COVID-19: Our building may be closed, but you can still experience art 24/7. Explore High.org for social connection, virtual events, inspiring images, art activities, and informative videos.” High Museum of Art in Georgia; 6,456 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 340 miles from Jerusalem, Georgia; or 0 Cybermiles via the Internet Cloud
If the museums’ physical space was opened, the cyberangels would enter the museums through their cafes. Why cafes? The biblical words for angel malakh and food ma’akhal are spelled with the same four Hebrew letters to teach that angels are spiritual messages arising from everyday life.
This is my digital age translation of the Bible's beginning verses from Hebrew, the original language of the Bible. It is discussed in my latest book that offers biblical insights for our ubiquitous world of new media.
It was published shortly before the coronavirus pandemic erupted. It anticipated the need for spiritual insights for coping with the radical changes in our lives in physical isolation while demonstrating how new media can connect us in virtual space. The book demonstrates to people of all faiths how biblical insights can transform life, in good times and bad, into imaginative ways of seeing spirituality in all that we do.