"Through a Bible Lens" is now available on amazon

"THROUGH A BIBLE LENS" IS NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON (click on book cover in right column)

Scroll down to read reviews of the book by Jewish and Christian spiritual leaders and experts in digital culture from five continents. The colorful photographs in each blog post are selected from among the fifty photographs in the book that illustrate the text.


Through a Bible Lens speaks to millennials in the language of today's digital culture of smartphones and social media. It demonstrates to both young and old the most up-to-date thoughts on the interactions between The Bible and the impact of new technologies on contemporary life. Christians and Jews should buy this book for themselves as well as for their children and grandchildren.



Monday, November 12, 2018

Interconnects Art, Creative Processes, Religion and New Media Technologies



In Through a Bible Lens, Alexenberg offers us a magnificent and original approach that interconnects art, creative processes, religion and new media technologies. The book is an important contribution to the study of media and is a must read for anyone interested in our contemporary culture. 
– Dr. Lucia Leao, author of The Labyrinth of Hypermedia and The Chip and the Kaleidoscope: Studies in New Media; professor of Communications and Semiotics, Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil

Monday, November 5, 2018

Launching Cyberangels of Peace throughout the World from Israel

“He had a vision in a dream. 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)

An international digital art event will celebrate the launching my book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  The event is illustrated on the book’s cover that shows digitized Rembrandt angels ascending from a satellite photo of the Land of Israel on a smartphone screen.
The launching is based upon the biblical commentary that the angels ascending and descending the ladder in Jacob’s dream go up from the Land of Israel and come down to earth throughout the world. 

Cyberangels as Messengers of Peace
The biblical word for “angel” and “messenger” are one and the same in Hebrew.  Cyberangels are messengers of peace rising up from the Land of Israel and descending into each of the seventy biblical nations populated by the descendants of Noah that God “separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations” (Genesis 10: 5).  They convey God’s message that the nations of the world are not meant to speak one language as in the disastrous Tower of Babel episode.  Each nation has its unique and distinct voice to contribute to the grand planetary choir singing God’s praise.

Peace upon You, Angels of Peace
The Hebrew word shalom means “peace.”  It is a greeting for both coming and going.  In Israel where I live, when I see a friend approaching, I greet him by saying “shalom.”   When a guest leaves my home, I also say “shalom.”  Shalom is akin to the word shalem, meaning “wholeness,” the integration of material and spiritual realms. 

The Sabbath eve meal in a Jewish home begins with the people gathered around the table singing the traditional song Shalom Aleichem (“Peace upon You”): 
Peace upon you, ministering angels, angels of the Highest, from the King who reigns over kings, the Holy One, blessed is He.  May your coming be in peace, angels of peace…. Bless me with peace, angels of peace….  May your departure be in peace, angels of peace, messengers of the Highest, from the King who reigns over kings, the Holy One, blessed is He.”

The words of the song were composed four centuries ago in the Galilee town of Tzfat (Safed) by Jews involved in exploring kabbalah, the down-to-earth spiritual tradition of Judaism.  Surprisingly, the well-known melody for the song, thought of as a centuries-old folk tune, was composed by the American composer Rabbi Israel Goldfarb in 1918 at Columbia University where he earned a degree in music education. (He studied in the same Columbia Teachers College building where I was professor of art and education in the 1970’s.)
45 years after Rabbi Goldfarb composed the music for Shalom Aleichem, he wrote: "The popularity of the melody traveled not only throughout this country but throughout the world, so that many people came to believe that the song was handed down from Mt. Sinai by Moses."  Shalom Aleichem played by the renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman creates an ethereal energy appropriate for launching cyberangels worldwide.  You can hear it at   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BDaDfmBQXA

“Angel” and “food” are written with the Same Hebrew Letters  
The biblical words for “angel” and “food” are written with the same four Hebrew letters to tell us that angels are spiritual messages arising from everyday life.



The Bible (Genesis 18:1-8) relates how three angels disguised as men appeared to Abraham while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.  When he looked up and saw them a short distance from him, he ran to greet them and invited them to stay to eat.  He rushed to his wife, Sarah, and asked her to bake cakes for their guests.
Then Abraham ran to the cattle to choose a tender, choice calf.  The Midrash, a centuries-old biblical commentary, questions why Abraham ran after the calf.  It tells that he ran after the calf because it ran away from him into a cave.  Abraham discovered that he had entered the burial place of Adam and Eve.  He was drawn to intense light emanating from an opening at the end of the cave.  As he approached, he saw the Garden of Eden through the opening. 

This deeply spiritual person, the patriarch Abraham, found himself standing at the entrance to Paradise.  About to cross over the threshold into the pristine garden, he remembered that his wife and three guests were waiting for lunch back at the tent.  What should he do?  Should he trade Paradise for a barbeque? The Bible tells us that he chose to return to the tent and join his wife in making lunch for the three strangers.  They sat together in the shade of a tree enjoying the food that Abraham and Sarah had prepared.

Angels are Spiritual Messages Arising from Everyday Life

In his review of my book, Dr. Jim Solberg, USA National Director of Bridges for Peace and author of Sinai Speaks, points out how Jews and Christians who share an abiding love of the Bible seek spirituality in everyday life.   
"Through a Bible Lens offers a unique and personal challenge to the reader to integrate Bible Study, the creation that surrounds us, and our personal experience into a “living journal.”  Dr. Alexenberg’s approach offers a fun, yes fun, path to integrate pondering the deepest questions of Scripture with modern living and a literally visual journey through life.  Written from a Jewish Torah loving perspective, this book will be a joy to any lover of the Bible, Christian or Jewish.  I not only endorse it, I look forward to integrating these ideas into my personal encounter with Scripture”

My dialogue with Dr. Solberg lead me to learn how Bridges for Peace builds relationships between Christians and Jews in Israel and around the world by merging spiritual and material realms.  The Bridges of Peace website quotes from Isaiah (58:10-11):
“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

Their Food Project provides over three tons of food every working day to needy people in communities throughout Israel from their food banks in Jerusalem and Karmiel, a city in the Galilee a short drive from Tzvat where the words for the song Shalom Aleichem “Peace upon You, Angels of Peace” was composed more than 400 years ago.

This blog post also appeared in The Times of Israel and IsraelSeen:

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/cyberangels-of-peace-fly-throughout-the-world/

https://israelseen.com/2018/11/11/mel-alexenberg-cyberangels-of-peace-fly-throughout-the-world/   
    

Friday, October 5, 2018

Launching Cyberangels from Jerusalem in Israel to JerUSAlems in USA to Celebrate Launching "Through a Bible Lens"


“He [Jacob] had a vision in a dream. 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)


The artwork above “Angels Ascending from the Land of Israel” is in the collection of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. I created it at a graphics center affiliated with the museum.  It  shows digitized Rembrandt angels going up from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel.  

These cyberangels will be animated and fly via digital technologies from Jerusalem in Israel into the twelve US states having places named JerUSAlem. This digital art event will be a contemporary realization of the biblical commentary that angels go up on Jacob’s ladder from the Land of Israel and come down throughout the world.

I am working with students at Emunah College School of the Arts in Jerusalem to create videos of everyday life in Israel from which the cyberangels will emerge.  Now that the US Embassy is in Jerusalem, I propose an exhibition of photographs of the 20 JerUSAlems in USA with a documentation of the cyberangels' flight into museums in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont. See http://Jerusalem-USA.blogspot.com

The cyberangel launching events from the capital of Israel will correspond with the launching of my book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  Scroll down for descriptions of some of my earlier cyberangel events: “Cyberangels Circle the Globe via AT&T Satellites” seen by millions, and The New York Times article “Artist’s Angel to Fly by Computer.” 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Free eBook: EvANGELical CyberANGELs Ascending from the Land of Israel



SEND FOR YOUR FREE eBOOK
EvANGELical CyberANGELs Ascending from the Land of Israel

Send your request for the book to the author melalexenberg@yahoo.com
with your name and email.  Write 'free book' on subject line.

This eBook will give you a taste of Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media in advance of its release by HarperCollins Christian Publishing in January.

The image above from the eBook cover is an artwork in the collection of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  The free e-book is illustrated by cyberangel artworks from digitized Rembrandt angel images.  They were created by the author, an artist whose artworks are in the collections of museums worldwide, research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and former art professor at Columbia University and universities in Israel.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Compelling Integration of the Sacred and Profane" From author of "Earth Angels: Engaging the Sacred in Everyday Things"



“The most recent, and arguably one of art’s most complete and compelling integrations of the sacred and profane.  Mel Alexenberg shows the way to the divine via digital imagery and heightened perception of its presence in the moving face of every person, place, and thing. The book is packed with wisdom and learning about Talmudic tradition, creative expression, and cyberangels. It reads like a swift and soulful breeze. I love every “byte” of it.” 
- Dr. Shaun McNiff, author of Earth Angels: Engaging the Sacred in Everyday Things and Imagination in Action: Secrets for Unleashing Creative Expression; university professor of Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Monday, September 17, 2018

TV Interview of Author of "Through the Bible Lens"


See the interview about my book "Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media" aired on May 7, 2018 on the Israel Now News program on the DayStar Television Network that reaches 35 million viewers. I was interviewed by Josh Reinstein, Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, on a Jerusalem rooftop studio.

"Intellectually exciting book" From Oral Roberts University Head of Art Education




“An intellectually exciting book that stimulates the sensory palate.  Drawing from the Kabbalah and Hebrew traditions, Dr. Alexenberg shares in-depth, meaningful insights about encountering God in the creative process through photography.  Using photography as the vehicle, we are guided, one idea at a time, to an understanding of what the author means by, ’looking up, looking out, and looking inward.’”  
- T. Mandel Chenoweth, head of the Art Education Department, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Interconnects Art, Creative Processes, Religion and New Media Technologies

“ In Through a Bible Lens , Alexenberg offers us a magnificent and original approach that interconnects art, creative processes, relig...