Mel Alexenberg is an artist, educator, writer and blogger working at the interface between art, science, technology and culture whose artworks are in the collections of more than 40 museums worldwide.
Alexenberg’s most recent project is a book and accompanying online project entitled Photograph God: Creating a Spiritual Blog of Your Life.
The book explores the interface between biblical narrative, kabbalah and digital technologies. It demonstrates how to create a blog by photographing God’s “divine light” … “as revealed in everyday life while crafting a dialogue between the bloggers story and the biblical story.”
For example, Alexenberg asked his students at Ariel University to photograph everyday examples of the seven divine kabbalistic attributes. Among the results:
Hesed (compassion/largesse/loving all): “… an elderly man responding to feral cats hungry for love and food. He pets each one and portions out food for them.”
Tiferet (beauty/aesthetic balance/inner elegance): “the birth of a calf, an awesome event expressing deeply felt beauty of seeing new life coming into the world.”
Hod (splendor/gracefulness/magnificence): “… the glorious feeling of young lovers kissing. She photographed their shadow as the hed (echo) of the event.”
Alexenberg’s own spiritual blog was created together with his artist wife, Miriam, to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary. During each of the 52 weeks of their 52nd year, they posted six photographs that reflected their life together along with a Twitter “tweet” that related the weekly Torah reading to their shared five-plus decades:
“God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good. It was evening and morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)”
“On the first day of our honeymoon, we bought a cactus plant. On the 42nd year of our honeymoon, our daughter bought us this cactus.”
“He [Jacob] had a vision in a dream. A ladder was standing on the ground and its top reached up toward heaven; and behold! Divine angels were ascending and descending on it. (Genesis 28:12)”
“We enjoyed sitting together in the Metropolitan Museum of Art print room holding Rembrandt’s drawings and etchings of angels in our hands … Mel painted on subway posters and screen printed digitized Rembrandt angels and spiritual messages from underground. “
“Six days shall you accomplish your activities and on the seventh day you shall desist. (Exodus 23:12) The seventh day is Sabbath … you shall not do any creative work. (Exodus 20:10)”
“We can enjoy the technological wonders of our era knowing that we are free to tune out, turn off, and unplug on the next Shabbat.”