digital culture

DRAWS ON THE BIBLE FOR DEVELOPING CREATIVITY IN A DIGITAL AGE

Through a Bible Lens teaches imaginative ways for developing creativity and spirituality in our age of smartphones and social media by drawing on Prof. Alexenberg’s research on creative thinking in digital culture at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies and on biblical thought in contemporary life at Israeli universities.

TEACHES HOW TO MAKE THE BIBLICAL NARRATIVE A MIRROR FOR SEEING YOURSELF

It shows how to create a lively dialogue between your emerging life story and the enduring biblical narrative by Bible blogging your life. The blog is an ideal narrative form for developing fresh insights for revealing spiritual dimensions of your personal narrative.

DEMONSTRATES HOW TO USE PHOTOGRAPHY FOR SPIRITUAL SEEING

Through a Bible Lens uses traditional methods of Bible study for seeing beyond the photographic image to reveal fresh insights. It explores Kabbalah as a down-to-earth tradition that provides a symbolic language — a spiritual bar code for understanding how Divine energies are drawn down into our everyday world.

SPEAKS TO MILLENNIALS IN TODAY'S LANGUAGE OF DIGITAL CULTURE

It presents to all generations the most up-to-date thoughts on how The Bible gives fresh insights on the impact of new technologies on contemporary life. Christians and Jews should buy THROUGH A BIBLE LENS for themselves as well as for their children and grandchildren.

PROVIDES CONCEPTUAL BACKGROUND FOR GLOBAL TRIBUTE TO REMBRANDT

Global Tribute to Rembrandt is a year of digital homage to Rembrandt in museums around the world on the 350th anniversary of his leaving his artistic legacy for posterity. Follow Global Tribute to Rembrandt

OFFERS A BIBLE CURE FOR SMARTPHONE ADDICTION

Through a Bible Lens offers a spiritual cure for the serious problem of smartphone addiction by teaching how to shift focus from the screen to photographing your everyday life from biblical perspectives. It also shows how to delight in all that happens around you by turning off, tuning out and unplugging one day each week. Follow Bible Cure for Smartphone Addiction

A MUST-READ BEFORE VISITING THE HOLY LAND

It teaches how to transform your smartphone photographs into biblical messages emerging from what you see and share your experiences through social media. It's all in the book THROUGH A BIBLE LENS. Click on book cover in right column to see inside the book and buy it on Amazon.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Conceptual Background for the Global Tribute to Rembrandt

Through a Bible Lens provides the conceptual background for the Global Tribute to Rembrandt, a year of digital homage to Rembrandt in museums around the world beginning on the 350th anniversary of his death, October 4, 1669. The biblical tradition on which Rembrandt’s angel artworks are based honors people on the day they complete their lives rather than on their birthdays. It is like applauding after seeing a great play instead of when the curtain opens.

The cover of Through a Bible Lens shows Rembrandt's angels flying out of a smartphone screen as they ascend from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel.   



The top image is the façade of Rembradthuis Museum in Amsterdam where Rembrandt created his angels.  The bottom image shows artist Mel Alexenberg, dressed as Rembrandt’s friend and neighbor Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel, receiving a cyberangel from a fax machine on Rembrandt’s etching press in his studio. (See Rembrandt Inspired Cyberangels Circle the Globe via AT&T Satellites)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Praise from Christian and Jewish Leaders and Experts on Digital Culture

See praise from Christian and Jewish leaders and experts on digital culture for “Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media" at https://mailchi.mp/israel365.com/make-the-bible-come-alive-and-transform-your-photography-buy-your-book-now?e=a5ad410914



THROUGH A BIBLE LENS provides the perfect model for the best usage of smartphones and socialmedia to encourage greater appreciation for the Bible and the Land of  Israel.” Rabbi Tuly Weisz, editor The Israel Bible

THROUGH A BIBLE LENS 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." Dr. Jim Solberg, USA National Director, Bridges For Peace.

THROUGH A BIBLE LENS offers profound insights about meaning and purpose in contemporary life in a brilliant and sustained expositionGREAT BOOK!” Dr. Ron Burnett, president, University of Art and Design, Vancouver. 

THROUGH A BIBLE LENS is a unique and fascinating book. Who would have thought that there would be a way to connect smartphones to the ancient world of the Bible?” Prof. Gerald R. McDermott, Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama. 

THROUGH A BIBLE LENS’s wonderful synthesis between spirituality and technology, heaven and earth, is exciting and thought-provoking.” Rabbi Chanan Morrison, author of Sapphire from the Land of Israel. 

THROUGH A BIBLE LENS is an intellectually exciting book that stimulates the sensory palate. Shares in-depth, meaningful insights about encountering God in the creative process through photography.”  T. Mandel Chenoweth, head of Art Education Department, Oral Roberts University. 

THROUGH A BIBLE LENS one of those books that other thinkers will wish they had somehow thought about how to write, and to which readers of diverse sorts will simply respond by saying: wow!” Dr. Ori Z. Soltes, professorial lecturer of Theology and Fine Arts, Georgetown University. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Growing Up Jewish Where the Amazon Jungle Reaches the Atlantic Ocean


I invite my readers to get to know my wife Miriam by having her share with you the article she wrote about growing up Jewish in Suriname, the former Dutch colony on the northern coast of South America, before her family’s aliyah to Israel when she was nine. See https://artiststory.blogspot.com/2019/06/growing-up-jewish-where-amazon-jungle.html.

You know her as my partner in creating the “Bible Blog Your Life” blogart project http://bibleblogyourlife.blogspot.com.  Each week for a year, we studied the biblical portion read in synagogue and documented how it reflects our life together with photographs and Tweet texts. Bible blogging forms the core of my book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media http://throughabiblelens.blogspot.com.

Paramaribo, Suriname

Monday, June 3, 2019

Celebrating Shirel's Birthday on Jerusalem Day 2019



My granddaughter Shirel from Yeroham is on the left with cousins from Sderot and Dimona. The photo was taken on June 2, 2019 at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day, Shirel's 25th birthday. It is based on the iconic photo below of the first Israeli soldiers to reach the Kotel in 1967 when Jerusalem was liberated after 2,000 years of occupation by foreign powers from the Romans to the Ottomans.      




In creating the "Bible Blog Your Life" project, my wife Miriam and I invited our granddaughter Shirel to be the guest blogger for the post "Numbers 2: Jerusalem Means Seeking Peace." See the post at http://bibleblogyourlife.blogspot.com/2014/01/numbers-2-jerusalem-means-seeing-peace.html

The "Bible Blog Your Life" project forms the core of my book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Bible Inspired Legacy Thrones Created by Christian and Jewish Elders


Jewish Legacy Throne in Miami
 
An Open Letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from Israeli Prof. Mel Alexenberg

As a citizen of both Florida and Israel, I applaud your visit to Israel and thank you for being the most pro-Israel governor in America.  I appreciate that you brought with you Floridian businessmen, university administrators and faculty, religious leaders, and elected officials to work with their Israeli counterparts in developing collaborative Florida-Israel projects.

You would enjoy knowing about the collaborative Florida-Israel “Legacy Thrones” monumental art project created when I was dean of visual arts at New World School of the Arts in Miami.  I worked with my college students and elders from Miami’s Hispanic, African-American, and Jewish communities to create three twenty-foot high, two-ton thrones that visually convey the stories of each of the ethnic communities.
Hispanic Legacy Throne facing Biscayne Bay
 
Through aesthetic dialogue between young people and elders valued traditions of the past were transformed into artistic statements of enduring significance. Together, young and old hands shaped wet clay into colorful ceramic relief sculptures collaged onto three towering steel and concrete thrones that stand facing Biscayne Bay in Margaret Pace Park. See photos of the project at http://melalexenberg.com/artwork.php?id=11.  

In addition to being intergenerational and multicultural, the “Legacy Throne” project created a vibrant dialog between Christians and Jews.  The Catholic Hispanic, Protestant African-American, and Jewish elders worked on each of the three thrones in one huge studio at NWSA.  Working alongside each other and learning about each other’s cultures, they came to realize how much they shared in experiences and in values. The theme of the “Legacy Thrones” project became the biblical passage “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when we sit together” (Psalm 133).  Biblical images formed in clay adorned all three thrones.
African-American Legacy Throne
 
The elders shared their commitments to living in freedom in America and to biblical values. Freedom from slavery and from the tyrannical regimes of Hitler and Castro shaped their reminiscences. Some women had heard first-hand stories of slavery on Southern plantations from their grandmothers. One Holocaust survivor spoke about having to bite the umbilical cord of her child born in hiding in an underground pit.  Cuban exiles talked about escaping the brutal oppression on the island they loved.

The ceramic relief sculptures could only be epoxied to the front of the thrones resting horizontally on the studio floor.  Completing the backs had to wait for cranes to lift them in place vertically and install them facing the bay.  The long delay in finishing the park found me back in Israel.  My wife artist Miriam Benjamin and I worked with students at Emunah College School of the Arts in Jerusalem to create the relief sculptures to adorn the back of the Jewish throne.  They were shipped to Miami where our former NWSA students completed the throne with Israel-made ceramic Hebrew letters. The “Legacy Throne” project became the first collaborative Florida-Israel art project.

 Retiring after a decade as dean at NWSA, I returned to Israel to accept a professorship at Ariel University.  I was happy to see you honored by Ariel University and hear you say: “This recognition means a lot and I am humbled to be the recipient.  Let it be known that Florida will always stand with Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.”  I am certain that the partnership that you forged between Ariel U. and Florida Atlantic U. will be rewarding to both universities.

The writer is author of Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media and former dean at New World School of the Arts in Miami, professor at Columbia University, research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, professor at Ariel University, and head of Emunah College School of the Arts in Jerusalem.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Visit Israel with Your Smartphone Focus Through a Bible Lens



Learn how to see the spiritual significance of the photo above by reading my article in Breaking Israel News  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/129545/visit-israel-with-your-smartphone-focus-through-a-bible-lens-opinion/
 
Reboot you smartphone for spiritual seeing before your plane lands in Israel. Be prepared to see the Holy Land in fresh ways by focusing through a Bible lens.  Transform your smartphone photos from tourist shots to images of spiritual power that convey biblical messages emerging from all you see.

 Teaching how to see through a Bible lens is based upon my research on the interrelationships between digital culture, creative process, and biblical thought at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and as professor at Columbia University and universities in Israel. My article offers an overview of how to reboot you smartphone that is explored in depth in my book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media http://throughabiblelens.blogspot.com.   

SEE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE

You can gain tools for looking beyond the surface of smartphone photos that are derived from an ancient method of biblical study called PaRDeS. The PaRDeS method for discerning deeper levels of significance in biblical texts can be valuable in mining meaning hidden beneath the surface of smartphone images.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Director of Knesset Christian Allies Caucus Interview About My Book




See the interview by Josh Reinstein on a Jerusalem rooftop studio about "Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media." It was aired on the Israel Now News program on the Daystar Television Network that reaches 35 million viewers in 191 countries around the world.  


Josh Reinstein has been Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus since its inception in 2004. He is also President of the Israel Allies Foundation, which coordinates the activity of 36 Israel Allies Caucuses in governments around the world. Josh was named one of the “50 most influential Jews in the world” by the Jerusalem Post.



News Flash: DAYSTAR TV STUDIO BOMBED!

An arsonist’s bomb destroyed the Jerusalem television studio of Daystar in the Arab neighborhood of Abu Tor overlooking the Temple Mount.  A security camera filmed a large flash in the early hours of Saturday, May 18th, followed by a man exiting the studio using a rope to descend to the ground after which he fled into the ravine leading away from the city. Police investigators are pursuing two possible motives behind the attack. The first theory is that the attack against a Christian facility in the Arab neighborhood, coming towards the end of the month-long Ramadan period is religious motivated. The second theory is that the arsonist was an Arab employee of an adjacent studio who recently became upset with some of the workers at the Daystar studio.

Conceptual Background for the Global Tribute to Rembrandt

Through a Bible Lens provides the conceptual background for the  Global Tribute to Rembrandt,  a year of digital homage to Rembrandt in mu...