"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.



Friday, August 31, 2018

"Unique and fascinating book" From author of 'The New Christian Zionism' and Professor of Divinity



“Who would have thought that there would be a way to connect smartphones to the ancient world of the Bible?  Professor Alexenberg has the expertise and experience to do so.  This is a unique and fascinating book.”                                                                    
- Dr. Gerald R. McDermott, author of Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land and The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land; Anglican professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"Great Book!!!" From author of 'How Images Think' (MIT Press) and University President


“The iPhone has changed our culture and our ways of thinking and acting in the world. This book brings together spiritual thought, everyday practices of communication and interaction and profound insights about meaning and purpose in contemporary life in a brilliant and sustained exposition. Once again, Alexenberg has carved out a unique point of view that deserves the highest praise and a large readership. Great book!!” 
– Dr. Ron Burnett, author of How Images Think; president, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

Friday, August 24, 2018

“Artist’s ‘Angel’ to Fly by Computer” (The New York Times, Aug. 16, 1987)


On Sunday, August 16, 1987, The New York Times published Barbara Delatiner’s article “Artist’s ‘Angel’ to Fly by Computer” that I present in part on August 16, 2018 in The Times of Israel. She interviewed me at the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island about my one-man exhibition “Angels of Peace.” From the Museum, I connected Long Island to the 48 states on mainland USA via a faxart event. 


Although this project is conceptually as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, fax technology has morphed into the Internet, smartphones and social media.  I explore the spiritual dimensions of this change in my newest book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  The cover of the book uses the same digitized Rembrandt angels that appeared in my 1987 exhibition.  However, they appear in 2017 ascending from a smartphone screen showing a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel. See http://throughabiblelens.blogspot.com.    

As a child on Long Island during World War II, Mel Alexenberg had a recurring nightmare.  “Because the Island wasn’t connected to the mainland,” he recalled, “I kept on dreaming that we’d float away and be connected to Europe – and be killed by Hitler.”

More than 40 years later, Mr. Alexenberg, now a noted practitioner of computer-generated art whose works are in the permanent collections of museum throughout the world, is about to do something about joining the Island to North America, if only for the 13 seconds it will take for a computer in Hempstead to tie in with a computer in California.




As part of his one-man exhibition “Angels of Peace,” which opens Tuesday at the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island in Hempstead, he will send his “Long Island Angel” flying, via computer a telephone hookups, to 48 mainland states and the District of Columbia where images will be rematerialized on facsimile machines.

“We’ll probably transmit to newspapers because they already have fax machines, said Jamie Z. Young, director of the Hempstead museum’s Computer Imaging Facility.  “That way we hope they’ll send back clippings.  And a museum in every states will get a copy of a limited-edition serigraph ‘A digital Homage to Rembrandt.’”

The event will mark the first transmission of what is called “fax art’ in America, Mr. Alexenberg said. Last March, Mr. Alexenberg who calls himself a ‘conceptual artist,” send his angles, digitized – translated in computer language – from a Rembrandt image from Jaffa, Israel, to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.

More than just a technical feat, “to show that it can be done,” the electronic angel launching, from the museum at noon on Sept. 3, is meant to “link Long Island to the rest of the country, both physically and in spirit,” the artist said. “It parallels the biblical commentary in Jacob’s dream that angels go up from the land and come down in other places throughout the world.”

In 1969, he and his family moved to Israel, where he has taught at Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan universities and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.  He founded and directed both Ramat Hanegev College and the Experiment School of University of Haifa. Today, he is chairman of the art department at Pratt Institute and research fellow at M.I.T.’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

An Orthodox Jew with what he called a “strong Hasidic connection,” Mr. Alexenberg tends to discuss his art in terms of mysticism in the kabbalah and bilingual letter play. For example, during an interview at the Fine Arts Museum – where his show of computer-generated paintings, lithographs, etchings, serigraphs and mixed-media works runs through Oct. 25 – he explained how traditional Judaism and modern technology are inexorably linked to his particular art.

“The Hebrew term for ‘computer angel,’” he said “is ‘MaLaH MaHSheV,’ which is the masculine form of the term for ‘fine art,’ or ‘MeLeHet MaHSheVeT.’ Art and angel are basically the same word in Hebrew.  Its root is ‘going,’ the action of communicating a message.

So, an angel is a divine message, and inspiration received by the artist guiding him in his transformation of the material world.  The artist, through his work, creates new angels that emanate from his work, communicating to others the qualities of his inspiration.

“But Jewish art,” he said, “is distinct from Western, or Hellenistic, art in a very basic way. The English word for ‘art’ is the root for such words as ‘artificial’ and ‘artifact.’ Similarly, the French word ‘ars’ and the German word ‘kunst,’ as well as art in all European languages, are related to imitation, copy, phony, counterfeit and falsification.  On the other hand, the Hebrew word for artist is not only different, it’s opposite.  It’s the same word as truth, faith, craft and education.”

“Furthermore, in Western art, the artist’s task is to imitate nature as if it were the height of creation. Judaism, however, does not view nature as complete or ideal. It – and therefore Jewish artists – see the artist and God as partners in an ongoing creative process.  It is imitation the Creator, rather than the creation, that is valued.”

“As I wrote in the exhibit catalogue,” he said, “the words ‘art,’ ‘food’ and angel’ are all written with the same Hebrew letters.  As an artist, I am most interested in pointing out the spiritual in everyday life.  I strive to make the ordinary extraordinary.  I aim to show the miraculous in the mundane.”    

(My “Long Island Angel” serigraph is in the collections of Birmingham Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Kansas City Art Institute, Mississippi Museum of Art, North Dakota Museum of Art, and University of Michigan Museum of Art.)

Cyberangels Circle the Globe via AT&T Satellites



 “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)

My artwork above “Angel Ascending from the Land of Israel” is in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. I created it in the printmaking studio affiliated with the museum. It shows two digitized Rembrandt angels ascending from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel. It illustrates the  biblical commentary that the angels in Jacob’s dream go up from the Land of Israel and come down to earth throughout the world.

In 1989, I  made this commentary come alive by sending a digitized Rembrandt angel on a faxart flight around the globe using AT&T satellites.  The cover of my new book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media displays the Rembrandt angel images from my Israel Museum serigraph (See http://throughabiblelens.blogspot.com.) However, it shows the same two angels flying out from a smartphone screen. Fax technology has morphed into the Internet, smartphones and social media.  

Since my pioneering faxart projects are conceptually relevant today, let’s take a look at how I flew a digitized Rembrandt angel from the AT&T building in New York, to Rembrandt’s studio in Amsterdam, to Tokyo where fax machines were made, to the City of Angels – Los Angeles, and back to New York.  My circumglobal faxart event was followed in 60 newspapers, in three thousand copies of AT&T’s Annual Report, and by ten million viewers of news stories on all the major TV networks covering the cyberangel’s return to New York.

THE STORY OF CYBERANGELS CIRCLING THE GLOBE VIA AT&T SATELLITES

The return of the cyberangel from its circumglobal flight (photo from the AT&T annual report) 

Working with Rembrandt’s angels, reminded me of the small etching he had made as a book illustration showing angels going up and down the ladder in Jacob’s dream.  It was in the only book he had illustrated, Piedra Gloriosa/Even Yakar (Glorious Stone in Ladino and Hebrew), a kabbalistic book written by his neighbor and friend, Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel.  I wanted to do something to honor Rembrandt.  On October 4th, it would be the 320th anniversary of his death.  Jewish tradition honors people on the day they complete their lives rather than on their birthdays.  It’s like applauding after seeing a great play instead of when the curtain opens.  It dawned on me that I could applaud Rembrandt best by having his winged angels wing their way around the world.

I phoned AT&T.  I asked if I could use their telecommunications satellites to send a cyberangel on a circumglobal flight.  “You have what to send around the globe?” was the usual response as I was transferred from office to office.  Incredulity was turned to interest when I reached the director of the Infoquest Center, AT&T’s technology museum on the ground floor of their postmodern building designed by Philip Johnson.  I took a clangorous subway train across the Manhattan Bridge to present my proposal.  The public relations people liked the idea and AT&T agreed to sponsor my memorial faxart event.

I flew to Amsterdam to meet with Eva Orenstein-van Slooten, Curator of Museum het Rembrandthuis, the artist’s home and studio.  With trepidation, I proposed having a fax machine placed on Rembrandt’s 350-year-old etching press to receive the angel that would fly there from New York.  She thought it was a wonderful idea.  It would make her museum, a quiet place, come alive as Rembrandt’s angel rematerialized in the place he had originally created it. 

On the morning of October 4th, his angel ascended from the Chippendale top of the AT&T building in New York.  It flew to Amsterdam to Jerusalem to Tokyo to Los Angeles, returning to the former New Amsterdam on the same afternoon.  It took an hour in each city to receive 28 pages of angel fragments and fax them on to the next city.  After a five-hour flight around the planet, the deconstructed angel was reconstructed for the fifth time at its starting point.  When it passed through Tokyo, it was the already the morning of October 5th.  After the line printed out on the top of the fax “Tokyo National University of Arts and Music, 5 October 1989” was the line “Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 4 October 1989.”  Cyberangels can not only fly around the globe, they can fly into tomorrow and back into yesterday.  They reshape our concepts of time and space in ways that correspond to the vision of kabbalists centuries ago.

The cyberangel was received at Rembrandt’s house seconds after it left New York.  It came as 28 sheets, each with an abstract fragment of the angel image.  Ms. van Slooten feed the sheets back into the fax machine on Rembrandt’s etching press and dialed the fax number of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  She then assembled all the fragments into a whole 4 x 6 foot angel.

Jerusalem was the appropriate next stop since it is an angel from a biblical scene.  It was evening when the cyberangel arrived.  Amalyah Zipkin, Curator of European Art at the Israel Museum, sent me a description of the angel coming and going.  She wrote:

“There is something appropriate in the illogic of the event: here we were in Jerusalem, the Holy City of 4000 years of turbulent history, huddled next to a fax machine in the mail room of the Israel Museum.  It was a few days before Yom Kippur.  Somewhere out there in technological space, a disembodied angel – computerized, digitized, enlarged, quartered, and faxed – was winging its way towards us from Amsterdam.  This angel had been drawn in the 17th century by a Dutch artist with the instantly-recognizable mass-media name of Rembrandt van Rijn, and had undergone its electronic dematerialization 320 year after the artist’s death as the hands of a New York artist and technology freak who had the audacity to make the connections: Rembrandt, the Bible, gematria, the electronic age, global communications, the art world, and the fax machine.  Like magic, at the appointed hour the fax machine zapped to life and bits of angel began to materialize in Jerusalem.  Photographs and the attendant PR requirements of contemporary life were seen to, and the pages were carefully fed back into the machine. We punched in the Tokyo phone number and the angel took technological flight once more.”

It was almost dawn on October 5th when the angel arrived in Tokyo in the Land of the Rising Sun where fax machines are made.  Ikuro Choh of Tokyo National University of Arts and Music received the angel and revealed its full image by assembling the 28 sheets on the ground among the ancient pillars in Ueno Park.  He then disassembled them and attached all the sheets end-to-end in a long ribbon ascending the stairs and entering into a centuries-old religious shrine built in traditional pagoda style.  The old Tokyo site was selected to carry a spiritual message of electronic age homage to tradition.  Ikuro Choh laments, “not only in Tokyo but everywhere in Japan, the traditional and the old are being destroyed at a ferocious speed, making the culture of paper, wood and bamboo evaporate like a mist, allowing the ugly demons of concrete to appear in its wake.”  With the sun rising over Japan to begin a new day, the faxart angel rose over the Pacific Ocean to fly into yesterday.  It arrived in the City of the Angels at 2:40 p.m. on October 4th.  The angel came together once again at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles on the day before it had visited Tokyo.

The cyberangel returned to New York five hours after it had left.  It had entered tomorrow before flying forward into yesterday.  Camera crews for all the major television networks welcomed the cyberangel’s return from its circumglobal flight.  It was broadcast on the national news from New York that evening.  After having flown around the world, the cyberangel simultaneously visited millions of homes across North America.  Associated Press covered the faxart event, too, sending the angel image and story over its wire services.  Sixty newspapers carried the AP story, each with a different headline.  It even made the front page in Billings (Montana), Marion (Ohio), and Selby (North Carolina).  AT&T made it the feature of their annual report.  They distributed three million copies showing me, a gray-bearded Jewish artist sporting a Hasidic black hat, welcoming the cyberangel on it return from its high tech flight around our planet.

Lucy Lippard’s words in Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America best summarizes the postmodern concept behind the computer angel story: “I am interested in cultural dissimilarities and the light they shed on the fundamental human similarities,” as well as “art that combines a pride in roots with an explorer’s view of the world as it is shared by others.”

Reaching Young Evangelicals in the Language of Digital Culture



The passionate support of millions of Evangelical Christians in the United States for Israel is valued by the people and government of Israel.   Israelis feel confident in the pro-Israel activities of the growing number of Christian Zionists who are strengthening the political and spiritual bonds between Washington and Jerusalem. 

The Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life found that more than a quarter of Americans identify themselves as Evangelical Protestant Christians.  They form the largest religious group in United States with political clout felt in the White House and Congress.   

A more recent study conducted by LifeWay Research asked “When you think of the modern rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948 and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people to Israel” 80% say these events were fulfillments of Bible prophecy. 80% agree that God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants was for all time. 76% agree that Christians should support the Jewish people’s right to live in the sovereign state of Israel.           

However, the study raises concerns that the younger generation may not continue the enthusiasm for Israel of their parents and grandparents.  The survey has found that positive perception of the country of Israel are strongest among the age group over 65 and least among millennials.  76% of age 65+ with Evangelical beliefs indicate they have a “Positive” view of Israel today, followed by age 50-64 (69%), age 35-49 (64%), and age 18-35 (58%).

David Nekrutman, executive director of the Center of Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Jerusalem told Michael Freund for his article in The Jerusalem Post “Stop taking Evangelical support for granted” that we should not assume that the children of Christian Zionists are building on the foundation of what their parents learned.

New Book Written in the Language of Digital Culture

There are many fine books written by Christian Zionists that set out the case for Israel based upon the biblical narrative.  I have found, however, that none speak in the language of the ubiquitous digital culture shaped by smartphones and social media.  It is the language that Evangelical millennials understand best.

To address this absence, I wrote my newest book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media being published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.  It creates a dialogue between digital texts and images that teach how biblical insights can transform smartphone photography and social media into imaginative ways for seeing spirituality in everyday life.  It speaks to Jews and Christians who share an abiding love of the Bible by inspiring the creation of a lively dialogue between our emerging life stories and the enduring biblical narrative.

My teaching and writing has explored the vibrant interface between Jewish thought and the postdigital age for decades.  As a professor at Ariel University in Israel, I taught the course “Judaism and Zionism: Roots and Values” and at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, I taught “Art, Technology and Culture.” 

I created the exhibition LightsOROT: Spiritual Dimension of the Electronic Age at MIT for Yeshiva University Museum in 1988.  My artworks exploring biblical imagery and digital technologies have circled the globe via AT&T satellites and are in the collections of forty museums from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. 

I have written many papers on the subject, the most recent being “Postdigital Relationships between Digital and Hebraic Writing” in the Routledge book Digital Writing and Rhetoric (2018) and in my books The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2011) and Dialogic Art in a Digital World in Hebrew (published in Jerusalem, 2008).
Reviews of Through a Bible Lens

I have posted reviews of Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media by Jewish and Christian spiritual leaders and experts on digital culture from five continents.  They describe my book from multiple perspectives that together reveal the essence of its message. See them at the book’s blog http://throughabiblelens.blogspot.com and follow them at the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/throughabiblelens/. Read some of them here.

“Like anything in God's world, smartphones and social media have the capacity for both blasphemy and blessing. Mel Alexenberg's important book Through a Bible Lens provides our generation the perfect model for the best usage of smartphones and social media to encourage greater appreciation for the Bible and the Land of Israel. Anyone who appreciates either will gain an important perspective from Alexenberg's lens.” – Rabbi Tuly Weisz, editor of The Israel Bible; director of Israel365 and publisher of Breaking Israel News: Latest News from a Biblical Perspective

"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." - Dr. Jim Solberg, author of Sinai Speaks; USA National Director of Bridges for Peace

“The iPhone has changed our culture and our ways of thinking and acting in the world. This book brings together spiritual thought, everyday practices of communication and interaction and profound insights about meaning and purpose in contemporary life in a brilliant and sustained exposition. Once again, Alexenberg has carved out a unique point of view that deserves the highest praise and a large readership. Great book!!” – Dr. Ron Burnett, author of How Images Think; president, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

“Who would have thought that there would be a way to connect smartphones to the ancient world of the Bible?  Professor Alexenberg has the expertise and experience to do so.  This is a unique and fascinating book.” – Dr. Gerald R. McDermott, author of Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and Land of Israel and The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land; Anglican professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

“The book's wonderful synthesis between spirituality and technology, heaven and earth, is exciting and thought-provoking. It is a practical demonstration of Solomon's wisdom: "Acknowledge God in all your paths."  Alexenberg's affirmation of the spiritual potential of the Internet, blogging, photography, new technologies and social media, brings to mind the dictum of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel: "The old will be renewed, and the new will be sanctified."  - Rabbi Chanan Morrison, author of Sapphire from the Land of Israel: New Light on the Torah Portion from the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook

“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

“For those of us familiar with the diverse and exhilarating work of Mel Alexenberg as an artist, educator and profound thinker, this latest book offers precisely the four things we would expect. The narrative thinks brilliantly outside the box. It synthesizes the realm of the abstruse and transcendent with the realm of the concrete and immanent. It crisscrosses disciplines, from science and technology to philosophy and mysticism to art as both historical and creative phenomena. Finally, the entirety is managed in a style both accessible and inviting. Those with prior knowledge of any or all of the disciplines from which Alexenberg draws will smile again and again in affirmation, and those entering without prior knowledge will be thrilled to understand things that they thought might be beyond them. This is 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, author of Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture; professorial lecturer of Theology and Fine Arts, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

“In Through a Bible Lens, Mel Alexenberg continues his meandering journey seeking Beauty and the Divine within the commonplace. Gazing vertically and horizontally, across literary, cyber, aesthetic and earthly texts/spaces, the journey's end point is always the same - sublime joy in the revelation of God in the World, God as the world.” Dr. Randall Rhodes, Provost, American University of Armenia, Yerevan

“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

“Inspiring on many levels.  I really enjoyed it because it gives us an amazing perspective on our own existence, especially in the age of the interconnected iPhone culture.”  - Prof. Michael Bielicky, head of Department of Digital Media/Postdigital Narratives, University of Art and Design/ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany                                                                                  
“I am honored to see how Professor Alexenberg draws on my teachings and makes them come alive in the world of smartphones and social media. He provides a practical guide for photographing the splendor of God by opening your eyes in wonder in whatever place you find yourself. Seeing with eyes of wonder is seeing for the first time every time.” - Rabbi David Aaron, author of Seeing God: Ten Life Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah and The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine within You; dean of Isralight and Yeshivat Oryta in the Old City of Jerusalem

“There are many parallels in Christian thought and deed that should allow this excellent book to resonate with many people of faith. When I picked up Prof. Alexenberg's book, I happened to be reading a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer by an anonymous 14th century Christian mystic whose words find a parallel in Alexenberg's exhortation to seek the Divine out in the world in all that you see and photograph, and with love.  He has succeeded in creating a program for photographers, on a daily basis, to explicitly weave their faith into their art and ultimately, back into their worldview with a fresh perspective.” - Bob Weil, co-author of The Art of iPhone Photography: Creating Great Photos and Art on Your iPhone

“Mel Alexenberg offers a scintillating experiment in creativity.  His work is an invitation to deepen your spiritual sensibilities as you extend your imagination.  An interesting and relevant approach to spiritual practice and creative expression.” - Jan Phillips, author of God Is at Eye Level: Photography as a Healing Art and Finding the On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Path: A Roadmap to Joy and Rejuvenation

“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

“In his astonishingly innovative book, Mel Alexenberg quotes photographer Jan Phillips, who writes, “Everywhere I look, there God is looking back, looking straight back." Alexenberg is able to perceive that Godly gaze not only in nature around us or the heavens above, but in the smartphone we hold in our hand.” – Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, author of thelordismyshepard.com: Seeing God in Cyberspace; spiritual leader at Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, Through a Bible Lens offers a template, a guidebook on how to experience innumerable images of the Divine in every moment and use blogging technology to disseminate them worldwide.  Professor Mel Alexenberg invites us to share the story of our own Divine journey through the wisdom found in this unique book.” - Bishop Robert Stearns, Executive Director, Eagles’ Wings, New York

“In his sophisticated and highly literate book, Prof. Alexenberg weaves in a playful way the threads between contemporary digital culture and traditional Jewish wisdom. In an original way, he invites us to connect the networked world of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, WhatsApp and Blogspot, with the concept of the unseen God.  Using the metaphor of the camera, he provides interesting and surprising intersections between new-media culture and theological issues.” - Dr. Yael Eylat Van-Essen, author of Digital Culture: Virtuality, Society and Information; art faculty at Tel Aviv University

“Whether we see this book as a book of art – a mystical computer program for spiritual seeing – or a book about art – to actually see it, we must consult the beautiful blog at http://bibleblogyourlife.blogspot.com.  Mel Alexenberg is a wonderfully accomplished worker on a great project: to make art a conduit for the Divine. - Rabbi Dr. Shimon Cowen, director, Institute for Judaism and Civilization, Victoria, Australia

“Alexenberg proposes that text and image—something as simple as photos taken with a smart phone, and multiplied in their resonance by the internet—can be used as a consciousness raising tool, at once personal and collective. With such simple means, we can attune ourselves to the sacred dimensions of our lives from moment to moment. In fresh, clear language, he brings his detailed knowledge of Torah texts and what he calls "the down-to-earth mysticism of the kabbalah" to bear on daily life, showing how the annual round of sacred readings from that spiraling scroll provides prompts for deepening our personal and artistic practice.” - Peter Samis, co-author of Creating the Visitor-centered Museum; associate curator, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

“Strikes a balance between Kabbalah and contemporary culture. It is replete with imagery from both universes.  It is literate, wise, and easily accessible.  Alexenberg offers us an elegant and devout example of an evolved Jewish Weltanschauung.  Make no mistake; this is a serious contribution to contemporary neo-kabbalah.”  - Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know: Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning and Kabbalah: A Love Story; scholar-in-residence at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco 

“I can feel your joy, warmth and good humor in your images. Your approach, while fundamentally spiritual and fired by a kindred spark as my own passion for seeing, is a mirror of a different sort of our mutual exploration of our humanity.” - Julie DuBose, author of Effortless Beauty: Photography as an Expression of Eye, Mind and Heart; director of The Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography, Colorado

"Menahem (Mel) Alexenberg is "tov ro'i," "goodly of vision." He sees godliness and goodliness in even the most mundane, and instructs others to behold that vision. We are blessed to have such a wise teacher in our midst." - Rabbi Bezalel Naor, author of A Kabbalist’s Diary and The Limit of Intellectual Freedom: The Letters of Rav Kook; former head of institutes of higher Jewish learning in United States and Israel
  

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Contents of 'Through a Bible Lens'


The author of Through a Bible Lens activating his biofeedback-generated self-portrait system 'Inside/Outside P'nim/Panim' that he created at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies for the LightsOROT: Spiritual Dimensions of the Electronic Age exhibition at Yeshiva University Museum in New York

Introduction: In the Beginning God Created Media Systems

Chapter One: Biblical Consciousness in Postdigital Culture

Chapter Two: Making an Invisible God Visible

Chapter Three: Reading Spiritual Bar Codes

Chapter Four: Photographing God as ‘The Place’ Everyplace

Chapter Five: Focusing on Creative Process

Chapter Six: Photographing Compassion/Strength/Beauty

Chapter Seven: Photographing Success/Splendor/Foundation

Chapter Eight: Looking Beyond the Image

Chapter Nine: Linking Personal and Biblical Narratives

Chapter Ten: Bible Blog

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Praise from author of 'Sapphire from the Land of Israel: New Light on the Torah Portion'


“The book's wonderful synthesis between spirituality and technology, heaven and earth, is exciting and thought-provoking. It is a practical demonstration of Solomon's wisdom: "Acknowledge God in all your paths."  Alexenberg's affirmation of the spiritual potential of the Internet, blogging, photography, new technologies and social media, brings to mind the dictum of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel: "The old will be renewed, and the new will be sanctified."  - Rabbi Chanan Morrison

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...