Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Shout for Joy! The Plague has Passed: Biblical Insights for Life in a Post-corona Era

“Go into your houses, my people, and lock your door behind you; hide for just a moment until the plague has passed, then awake and shout for joy!” (Isaiah 26: 19, 20)
Shout for Joy! The Plague has Passed presents a vision of a post-corona future that we have not known before. The book offers biblical insights for exploring the spiritual essence of personal, social, and cultural renewal when the plague has passed. It proposes creative ways for enhancing everyday life in an emerging postdigital culture.
These insights are derived from my teaching and research on creative process, digital culture, and biblical consciousness at Columbia University, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and universities in Israel. They are expressed through my life experiences in Israel and United States and my experimental artworks in the collections of forty museums worldwide.   
“And it was after the plague -- God said to Moses, ‘Go up to this mountain of Avarim and SEE the Land that I have given to the Children of Israel. You shall SEE it.’" (Numbers 26: 1, 27: 12)
Why is SEE repeated? Moses first saw the Dead Sea and the barren expanse of desert as far as his eyes could see. Then, he saw the future of his people in the Land of Israel.
“Old men and women will once again sit in the streets of Jerusalem. The streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing.” (Zechariah 8: 4, 5)
Moses could SEE men and women in their golden age sitting in the streets of Jerusalem while boys and girls were playing there. He possessed prophetic insight to visualize the spiritual essence of life in the Land of Israel as the joy of grandparents watching their grandchildren at play.
He saw my granddaughter Elianne and great-grandson Eliad playing in playgrounds in central Israel. Moses standing on the mountain saw my professional baseball player son Ari standing on the mound pitching for Petah Tikva Pioneers in Tel Aviv. There were old men and women sitting with boys and girls watching the game and cheering.

Awake and Shout for Joy
The above text is based upon the eighth portion of Numbers (25: 10-30). I wrote it as a sequence of Tweets in the Twitter language of postdigital culture that characterizes the post-corona era. It is from Bible Blog Your Life, a blog that my wife Miriam and I created to tell the story of our life together as a reflection of each weekly Bible portion.
Updated Tweets from Bible Blog Your Life pop up throughout this book to enliven the text and invite you to shout for joy. Albert Einstein links the twitter of birds with the fundamental emotion of art and science that finds expression in Psalms as “a sort of intoxicated joy and amazement at the beauty and grandeur of this world. It is the feeling from which true scientific research draws its spiritual sustenance, but which also seems to find expression in the song of birds.”
Shout for Joy! offers conceptual and spiritual tools to creatively navigate the untraveled ways and paths of the emerging post-corona world that will inevitably change your life. You will learn how biblical insights can contribute to your shaping a meaningful life that integrates new directions and opportunities emerging in the post-corona era with reviving what was most valuable to you in the pre-corona era and what you learned from your experiences during the corona era.
It aims to inspire people of all faiths to create a vibrant dialogue in changing times between one’s emerging life story and the enduring biblical narrative.

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