Sunday, January 23, 2022

From Rembrandt Inspired Cyberart in MoMA to Cryptoart NFT

Just as cyber artworks have found their homes in museums worldwide since the 1980’s, crypto artworks will be entering museum collections worldwide in the future.

As an artist whose digital artwork is in the MoMA collection, it will be meaningful for the museum to also have my Rembrandt inspired NFT in its collection. The image below shows me in period garb launching a Rembrandt inspired cyberangel from Rembrandt’s studio in Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam flying to MoMA. 

The Museum of Modern Art added my experimental digital multimedia artwork Jacob’s Dream: Digitized Homage to Rembrandt to its collection in 1987 after its being exhibited in “The Artist and the Computer” exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. I had created it when I was simultaneously Chairman of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute and Research Fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

Mrs. Alfred R. Stern, Chairman of the Committee on Prints and Illustrated Books, wrote on adding my 1986 experimental digital multimedia artwork Jacob’s Dream: “The members of the committee were pleased to accept this computer-assisted etching of Rembrandt’s imagery. As an example of the innovative technological experimentation taking place at Pratt Graphic Center, it will be of great interest to students of the development of graphic techniques.”

In addition to my teaching at Pratt and MIT, I am former art professor at Columbia University and professor at universities in Israel.

 My email is 


MoMA has a special place in my life having been born and educated in New York. Instead of taking the Green Bus to school, I’d often run across Queens Boulevard and take the bus in the opposite direction across the bridge to Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street to spend the day with Matisses and Picassos. 

When I was head of the art department at Pratt Institute, I invited Francoise Gilot to lecture about her new book Matisse and Picasso: A Friendship in Art. She gave me a copy and wrote in it: "To Mel Alexenberg, who sees angels in computers and computers in Angels. Francoise Gilot."

My first teaching job was as a high school biology teacher at Rhodes School on 54th Street overlooking the MoMA terrace. (It’s the red brick building in the photo below.) 

My second date with Miriam, who became my wife ten months later, was in the MoMA where I explained to her ideas emerging from modern art. The last museum she had visited was the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam viewing Rembrandts when she was nine years old on her way from Suriname, the Dutch colony in South America where she was born, to live on a farm in Israel.

Victor D’Amico, director of the MoMA’s Children's Museum was my teacher when I was studying for an interdisciplinary doctorate in art and science at NYU. His classes were held at MoMA. Dr. Prabha Sahasrabudha who worked with Victor at MoMA was invited by Indira Gandhi to create a children's museum in India modeled after the MoMA Children's Museum. Prabha was later professor of art education at NYU and head of the committee that granted me my doctorate for my research on the aesthetic experience in creative process in art and science. 
My cyberangel flights in both digital and crypto forms are based on the biblical passage: “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) Angels in Jacob’s dream go up from the Land of Israel and go down throughout the world.

Top image: Rembrandt inspired cyberangels arrive from Israel at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in time for lunch at the Terrace Cafe.  The biblical words for angel and food are spelled with the same four Hebrew letters to teach that angels are spiritual messages arising from everyday life. Perhaps there is spiritual significance that museums that offer art also offer food.
Second image: The cyberangels begin their virtual flight from the Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, home of ancient Bible scrolls. They gain momentum by going up from the tallest building in Israel, the 91 story Azrieli Spiral Tower in construction in Tel Aviv with the shape of a Bible scroll.

Third image: Cyberangels spiral up from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel on a smartphone screen on the cover of Mel Alexenberg’s latest book Through a Bible Lens.  They launch the book throughout the world from the artist/author’s studio in Israel. See praise for the book at Israel365.
Bottom image: This experimental mixed media artwork by Mel Alexenberg was exhibited in the “The Second Emerging Expression Biennial: The Artist and the Computer” exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York in 1987-88. 

It creates a visual dialog between a hand-drawn etching, photoetching, and computer-generated etchings based on a Rembrandt drawing in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that placed Alexenberg’s print in its collection. It was also acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in 1987.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Biblical Origins of Crypto Cyberangels

 Rembrandt’s inspiration for my postdigital age artwork began three decades ago when I was sitting in a small synagogue in New York listening to the chanting of the biblical portion about artists Bezalel and Oholiav building the Tabernacle. I was translating the Hebrew words into English in my mind when it struck me that the Bible’s term for “art” is malekhet makhshevet, literally “thoughtful craft.” It is a feminine term. Since I’m a male artist, I transformed it into its masculine form malakh makhshev, literally “computer angel.”

Mel Alexenberg, Brooklyn Angel,  Acrylic painting on panel, 90 x 161 cm.

When the services ended, I immediately told my wife Miriam that I discovered that my role as a male Jewish artist is to create computer angels. “To do what?” was her response. I reminded her of an article that our son Rabbi Ron Alexenberg had sent us a week earlier when he was archivist at Rabbi Kook’s House in Jerusalem. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was a down-to-earth mystic who served as the chief rabbi of pre-state Israel during the first half of the 20th century. When he lived in London, he enjoyed seeing the Rembrandt paintings in the National Gallery and described the light in them as the light of the first day of Creation.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Belshazzar's Feast, 1638, National Gallery, London

“Thoughtful Craft” is a More Fitting Postdigital Age Term than “Art” 

The biblical term for art as “thoughtful craft” is more appropriate for our digital era that the English term “art” related to “artifact” and “artificial,” the Hellenistic view that art’s role in mimesis, imitating nature. The contemporary Hebrew word for “computer” is makhshev, “thinker.” “Thinking machine” is a more relevant term today than “computing machine.” 

I explore this divergence in my books: Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media (HarperCollins) and The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press).

I felt well equipped to create computer angels that I like to call cyberangels. I was head of the art department at Pratt Institute, America’s leading art college, where I taught “Fine Art with Computers,” and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies where I taught a course I called “Mindleaping: Developing Creativity for the Electronic Age.” I was a frequent flier on the New York-Boston route.

From Faxart to the Digital Culture of Smartphones, Social Media, and Crypto Art
Flash forward thirty years from the faxart generation in 1989 to the ubiquitous digital culture of smartphones and social media in 2022. Unlike the era of fax technology when I sent my Rembrandt inspired cyberangel from one city to the next on its circumglobal flight, today I can send cyberangels into the digital cloud. They then simultaneously can come down into thirty museums on five continents that have my artworks in their collections. The cloud describes a vast number of computers interconnected through a real-time communication network such as the Internet. The cloud is a living network of networks blanketing our planet that closely expresses the biblical commentary that the angels in Jacob’s dream ascend into the cloud and can come down anywhere in the world. 

Timeless Immortal Art China

From Emma Qin Wang, President of G&Y (Florence) Cultural Exchange Association, Firenze, Italy, General Manager of XiangKeYi (Shanghai) Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China

To Mel AlexenbergProposal for the “Timeless Immortal Art China" (TIA China) project and authorization for the installation of artistic works in China.

We are pleased to inform you that our Administration, sensitive to all initiatives concerning Art and Culture, is pleased to invite you to collaborate and share our project called: " Timeless Immortal Art - China " (TIA China), including installations of artistic works for the urban decoration of our country.

Professional artists, from different countries of the world, are joining our project, giving only their authorizations, in a non-exclusive way, for our use of the printing of the images of his artworks, on materials that may vary according to the context (such as ceramic tiles, glass, or other materials) to be installed in private or public places in China.

This is an extension of our previous well-received project Timeless Immortal Art - Meri (TIA Meri). We are very pleased to share with you, as one of the artists of the TIA Meri, that we would like to carry on this concept, and spread this project to more nations in the world.

The six artworks below were sent digitally to Emma Qin Wang for use in Shanghai and other cities in China.

Cyberangels Link Sister Cities Ashdod (Israel) and Wuhan (China)

Description of artwork: Computer-generated artwork sending blessings from the people of Israel to the people on China (full description at blogpost Cyberangels Link Sister Cities Wuhan (China) and Ashdod (Israel) from artist’s article in The Times of Israel).

Cyberangels of Peace Ascend from the Land of Israel

Description of artwork: Computer-generated serigraph in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It is based upon the Bible in which angels ascending from Israel come down throughout the world with messages of peace.

Angle Angels

Description of artwork: Acrylic painting in the Library at Ariel University based upon the play on the similar words angle and angel.

Cyberangels of Peace Ascend from Jerusalem through Tel Aviv to the Rest of the World

Description of artwork: Cyberangels ascend from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem through the tallest building in Tel Aviv to museums throughout the world.

Rembrandt-inspired Cyberangels on Circumglobal Flight Stop in Amsterdam

Description of artwork: Rembrandt-inspired cyberangels stop in Rembrandthuis Museum in Amsterdam on flight via satellites around the world from New York, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and back to NY. The artist Mel Alexenberg in period dress is in Rembrandt’s studio receiving the cyberangel.

Cyberangel Announcing Birth of Samson to Manoah

Description of artwork:  Computer-generated lithograph in the collection of Kunstmuseum Den Haag in The Hague, Netherlands, illustrating the biblical story of an angel announcing birth of Samson to his father.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Cyberangels of Peace Fly from Israel to Meri Open-Air Museum in Italy

Prominent Italian artist Lorenzo Chinnici and his son Francesco Chinnici created “Meri Timeless Immortal Art 2021,” an open-air museum in their hometown of Meri, Sicily. He invited sixty artists from countries throughout the world to participate in a collaborative art project to redefine the role of art in an urban context as a way of beautifying a city. I was invited to represent Israel.

Lorenzo Chinnici explains that the project involved the installation throughout the village of Merì of terracotta tiles on which are reproduced the paintings of sixty artists. There are no longer just simple name plaques on walls of streets and squares of the city, but sixty art works that transform it into an open-air museum. The open-air museum is intended to initiate urban regeneration through art as a model of cultural rebirth. Each participating artist is honored by having his or her artwork, name, and country linked to the name of a street or square.


“Meri Timeless Immortal Art” is an artistic expression of international collaboration that puts Meri on the map. Merì is a charming small town with medieval roots on the north-eastern shores of Sicily. It is hardly where you would expect a worldwide artistic community participating in creating a pioneering open-air museum.   

To go on a tour through the town of Meri and see all sixty paintings on street signs, see MERÍ TIMELESS IMMORTAL ART 2021 - YouTube. My sign for Piazza XXXIV Maggio “Cyberangels of Peace Ascending from the Land of Israel” can be seen at 12.57 to 13.10 seconds into the video.

Below see a video pan from my sign to the piazza that it marks and back to my sign.

The Merì project aims to be more than an open air gallery. It hopes to create a model of cultural rebirth by changing how art is viewed within an urban context, art that is democratic, free and open for all, with no money involved and no commercial interest attached.

Countries represented are: Italy, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Austria, Lithuania, Belgium, and Denmark.

“Timeless Immortal Art China” modeled after the Meri open-air museum of art will have artworks from throughout the world adorning street signs in Shanghai and other cities in China. My artworks in China will represent Israel.  


In response to Lorenzo Chinnici’s invitation to participate, I wrote that I am honored to represent Israel with my artwork CYBERANGELS OF PEACE ASCENDING FROM THE LAND OF ISRAEL among the artworks of many other countries in your MERI’ – TIMELESS ART project in your beautiful Town of Meri. 

I sent him this description of my artwork that he requested.

“CYBERANGELS OF PEACE ASCENDING FROM THE LAND OF ISRAEL is a serigraph in the collection of the Israel Museum that was created in Jerusalem by the Israeli artist Mel Alexenberg. It shows digitized Rembrandt-inspired angels ascending from a NASA satellite image 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.”

“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)

“The Cyberangels of Peace carry a digital age message to each of the 70 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.”


Lorenzo Chinnici told to me why my artwork was selected to mark the town square called “Piazza XXXIV Maggio” (Piazza twenty-four May). “The square takes its name from a date Important for us Italians, because on May 24, 1915 Italy entered the First World War, a difficult and dark era. We have chosen to place your angels there precisely for this reason, as a symbol of purity, freedom and protection, so that these dark periods never return. Your installation marking this square represents for us, a symbol of protection and blessing through your angels.”

I responded to him that the key to linking art and angels is found in the Bible. The term for “art” in the original Hebrew language of the Bible is found in the description of the master artist Bezalel creating the Tabernacle. The Hebrew for “art” is two words that translate as “thoughtful craft,” a feminine term. Since I’m a male artist, I transformed it into a masculine form. I was surprised discovering that in Hebrew, it reads as “computer angel." In the ancient language of the Bible coming alive in our digital age, “art” is a “computer angel!” So not only does my cyberangel from the Land of Israel come down to earth at Piazza XXXIV Maggio to symbolize freedom, but it announces that it is the mate of  art” itself.

On the cover of my latest book, Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media, you see my cyberangels ascending from a satellite image of Israel on a smartphone on their way to Meri. 


Meri Open-Air Museum in Messina Province, Sicily, is an 1,197 mile flight (1,926 km) from Jerusalem, Israel; or 0 cybermiles via The Cloud 

Cyberangels of Peace are waiting on a virtual runway to fly from the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the oldest manuscripts of the Bible are housed, to the Meri Open-Air Museum on May 24, 2022. They will join the cyberangels on the sign marking Piazza XXIV Maggio, the plaza in Meri commemorating Italy's entry into WWI on May 24, 1917. The two groups of angels will shout out in unison the words of the prophet Isaiah:

"They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift sword against nation, and never again will they learn war." (Isaiah 2: 4)

Friday, August 13, 2021

Cyberangels of Peace Follow Israel's Foreign Minister to Morocco

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid made his first visit to Morocco to meet with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita to plan the opening of an Israel Embassy in Rabat and a Moroccan Embassy in Tel Aviv. As a first step, Lapid opened a liaison office in Rabat.

To honor the growing relationship between Israel and Morocco in the spirit of the Abraham Accords, I launched Rembrandt-inspired Cyberangels of Peace on virtual flights from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to the Mohammed VI Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat and to the Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Art.  

During Lapid’s meeting with Bourita, he relayed an invitation from Israel’s President Isaac Herzog to Morocco’s King Muhammad VI.

“Allow me to express my sincere appreciation for Your Majesty’s decision to establish full diplomatic, peaceful and friendly relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel. We are committed to deepening the strength of our relations and hope that they further expand and flourish over time.”

Herzog expressed admiration for the king’s “ground-breaking contribution to Arab-Israeli reconciliation in many countries across the region.”

Bourita said that Lapid’s visit “reflects the commitment of our two countries to strengthening our bilateral relations and give them concrete impetus through the establishment of effective cooperation mechanisms.” He plans to be on the first direct Royal Morocco flight to Israel to dedicate the Moroccan Embassy there.

Mediterranean Rim Regional Opportunities

Yair Lapid proposed cooperation between countries surrounding the Mediterranean Rim extending to the Gulf. He said, “Think of it as a circle of Israel and Morocco and Egypt and Jordan and in some ways you can say Cyprus and Greece, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates. All of the countries that are religiously moderate with truly infinite economic potential.”

In response to Lapid’s visit to Morocco, Nimrod Goren penned an article in the Jerusalem Post “Israel should introduce a regional agenda for Israel-Morocco ties” in which he proposes ways for making Israel a key player in a Mediterranean Rim dynamic between the 21 nations bordering the Sea. He writes:

“Israel lies at the crossroad of the Middle East, Europe and the Mediterranean. These regions are strongly linked, and each provides Israel with options for integration and belonging”

As president of Mitvim – The Israel Institute for Regional Foreign Policy, Dr. Goren emphasizes the significance of adding a regional framing to bilateral ties that would contribute to upgrading Israel-Morocco relations and yield substantive benefits for both Israeli and Moroccan foreign policy.  

Conceptual Art Linking the 21 Med Rim Countries

As an experimental artist who has worked on a global canvas for decades, I am conceptualizing an artwork that radiates from Israel across Europe on the northern tier of the Med Rim from Spain and across North Africa on the southern tier to Morocco. It will include the 21 Mediterranean Rim countries from Spain, France, Monaco, Malta, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, to Morocco.

Cyberangels carrying messages of peace, friendship, and brotherhood will be launched from the Israel Museum through art museums in all the other 20 countries.

I had created a related artwork in 2008 that I called MERIWIP: MEditerranean RIm WIkiart Project that can be seen at Wikiartists. MERIWIP invited people living in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea to be wikiartists by collaborating in creating a web-enabled peer-produced artwork by exchanging wedding photographs and flowers between nations. Participants sent photos of flowers grown in their country to a couple from another Med Rim country though the Wikiartists blog.

This artwork evolved from my 2004 exhibition “Cyberangels: Aesthetic Peace Plan for the Middle East” at the Jewish Museum in Prague. It proposes peace between Israel and the Arab countries based upon Islamic values expressed through counter-patterns in Moroccan kilim rugs. My exhibition displayed actual rugs woven with traditional Islamic patterns beside digital enlargements of their counter-patterns printed out on canvas. The exhibition presented an interplay between Arab Islamic art and the European Christian art of Rembrandt-inspired cyberangels mediated by an Israeli Jewish vison of aesthetic peace. See Aesthetic Peace.

Israelis of Moroccan Origins

FM Yair Lapid discussed how Israel and Morocco are reviving a centuries-old friendship between the Jewish people and the people of Morocco by establishing diplomatic relations.

Jews have a long history of living in Morocco. After the establishment of the State of Israel, most of Morocco’s Jewish population moved to Israel where they contribute to all walks of life. Today, about a million Israelis have family origins in Morocco.

In 1977, my wife Miriam and I moved from New York where I was professor at Columbia University to Yeroham, a town isolated in the Negev desert, where I founded a college. Most of its population had moved there from Morocco. When our new neighbors learned that we were Americans, they said to us in Hebrew, “Americayim Moroccayim, almost the same thing.”

Our family became one of the families with origins in Morocco. Our New York born daughter Iyrit is married to Dr. Yehiel Lasry who was born in Morocco. His family moved to Ashdod when he was six years old when it was a small town on the sea. He is now the mayor of Ashdod that has grown under his creative leadership into one of Israel’s largest cities and its major port. He studied medicine at Ben-Gurion University, was Surgeon-General of Israel’s navy, specialist in internal medicine at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament), and a founder of the Andalusian Orchestra that creates a cultural bridge between Israel and Arab countries. Four of our grandchildren are half Moroccan.

My wife and I now live in Ra’anana, the same city north of Tel Aviv where Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lives with his wife and children. Before partaking of the Sabbath eve meal, our Jewish families sing, “May your coming be for peace, Angels of Peace, angels of the Exalted One.” The song begins with the words shalom aleikhem (may peace be with you). Shalom aleikhem is the traditional Hebrew greeting when people meet. It is akin to the Arabic greeting salam aleikum.

May the Hebrew Malakh Shalom and the Arabic Malak Salam be recognized as one and the same Angel of Peace.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Isaiah’s Vision Revealed by Cyberangel Flights from Israel to Iowa and Abu Dhabi

As an American-Israeli artist, I launched cyberangels from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art to celebrate the Nationwide Bible Marathon on July 14, 2021 that was founded in Iowa by Dianne Bentley three years ago. It has since grown to an international event with participants simultaneously reading from the Book of Isaiah in 72 countries.

Isaiah sees shouts for joy when the corona pandemic ends. “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: 20,19) 

Responses to cyberangels conveying Isaiah's vision

Dear Mel, I have been profoundly affected by your artwork. Just before receiving your email, my husband and I were talking about how one can write volumes and not really accomplish what he/she is saying, but a single image speaks volumes. Your artwork has prophetically spoken volumes into my life, and as tired as I am from the 7/14 @ 7:14 am Nationwide Bible Reading Marathon event, I can truly say I feel vibrantly alive and ready to spiritually war through the next year of work needed to join nations around the world in a 24 hour, 26 major time zone Bible Reading Marathon. This will be our 3rd year of prayer every Saturday at 7:14 am (CDT) which precedes each 7/14 event. Three other women from around the USA join me as we pray, discuss, and strategize with our Heavenly Father. Thank you for being an agent of release of God's love to us and our love for Israel and may 2 Chronicles 7:14 bless your life as it has ours. God bless, Dianne Bentley, State Leader, Iowa 99 County Bible Reading Marathon, Servant Leader, Nationwide Bible Reading Marathon

Hi Mel, Dianne Bentley forwarded your email to me and I've ordered your book. Looking forward to reading it. I'm the state leader for the Bible Reading in Georgia, There were 13 other states besides Iowa and GA that were involved in the 7/14 Bible Reading. What a blessing. I write a little weekly column for our local paper. I thought you would enjoy knowing how Dianne and I met and how this worked out for me to join her.  No accidents with our God! Shalom, Jerri Tuck

Jerri’s “Connecting the Dots” article in a Georgia newspaper tells of how she connected to Dianne in Iowa through a Facebook friend in Nigeria. God’s plan is continuing to connect the dots by Dianne forwarding my email to Jerri in the state of Georgia where my cyberangels have been in the collection of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta since 1987. I launched a new generation of cyberangels from Jerusalem, Israel, to the High Museum in 2019 and to museums in eleven other states in USA that have places named “Jerusalem” to honor Rembrandt on the 350th anniversary of his passing. See them all at my blog JerUSAlem-USA,

Jonathan Feldstein arranged for Israel to take part in the Bible Reading Marathon through his Genesis 123 Foundation that works to build bridges between Christians and Jews through the Bible they share. He is an American born Orthodox Jew who immigrated to Israel in 2004 and has been blessed with a calling to serve to create a meaningful dialogue between Jews and Christians and to help connect Christians to Israel.

Abu Dhabi to Israel to Iowa and throughout the world

The cyberangels had just returned from their virtual flights from Jerusalem to the United Arab Emirates to celebrate the inauguration of the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate of Israel in Dubai. This historic event brought the Abraham Accords to life by reuniting the descendants of brothers Ishmael and Isaac, Moslem Arabs and Jewish Israelis.

To rejoice in this event of biblical proportions, I launched “Cyberangels of Peace” on flights from the Israel Museum to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai. These cyberangels heralded the realization of Isiah’s vision:

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2: 4)

Living Isaiah’s vision in the Land of Israel

My book Through a Bible Lens published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing offers biblical insights for our digital culture of smartphones and social media to both Jews and Christians. It documents life with my wife Miriam and our children and grandchildren in Israel, in the land where the biblical narrative unfolds, in the land that the biblical prophecies of the ingathering of the Jewish people is being realized today. Miriam and I sense the privilege of living the visions of the prophets in all that we see and do.

"I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 43:5-6)

The great biblical miracle of liberating one nation of thousands from enslavement in the one country of Egypt after two centuries of exile pales in comparison with the Zionist miracle in our time of ingathering millions of Jews from a hundred countries after two thousand years and bringing them home to Israel. 

I was born in New York of parents born in Boston and New Jersey. My wife Miriam was born in Suriname where the Amazon Jungle reaches the Atlantic Ocean.  Her parents were born in Amsterdam. We came on aliyah to Israel with our three children Iyrit, Ari and Ron who were born in New York. Our fourth child Moshe was born in Beersheva.  Iyrit’s husband Dr. Yehiel Lasry was born in Morocco and came to Israel with his family when he was six years old. He is mayor of Ashdod, Israel’s fifth largest city and its major port, former surgeon-general of the Israeli navy, and member of Knesset. Ari’s wife Julie was born in Boston, descendent of the Jewish sheriff of Tucson in the Wild West. Ron’s wife Miri was born in Jerusalem. Her father, a Holocaust survivor, is a rabbi born in Hungary. Moshe’s wife Dr. Carmit Eliassi Alexenberg is a chemistry professor born in Israel of parents born in Iran.

"Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like doves to their roosts … to bring your sons from afar?" (Isaiah 60:8-9).

My daughter Iyrit and her husband were on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport welcoming the arrival of the first El Al Dreamliner from the Boeing factory in Washington State. Painted on the plane was Ashdod in honor of the city’s founding 60 years ago. Watching the plane touch down brought tears to Iyrit’s eyes as she witnessed the miracle of the Jewish people returning home on wings of eagles (Exodus 19:4).  My son-in-law told me that the citizens of his city Ashdod were born in 99 countries.

“When God will return the exiles of Zion, we will have been as dreamers. Then our mouths shall be filled with laughter and our tongues with songs of joy. Then shall they say among the nations, ‘God has done great things for them!’” (Psalms 126:1-2)

Reading the Bible in the language of digital culture

A number of polls show a growing trend that younger Christians and Jews read the Bible less than their parents and consequently have a diminishing support for Israel. Reading in the rapidly evolving language of smartphones and social media makes Bible study boring to them. However, I have found that when I translate the Bible from the original Hebrew into the language of digital culture in Through a Bible Lens, this fresh viewpoint sparks interest in the minds of millennials.

Let’s start with the first words of the Bible translated into English:   

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

In the original Hebrew language of the Bible, the word et appears twice:

“In the beginning God created et the heaven and et the earth.”

The Hebrew word et is the first creations before heaven and before earth. In translations, et drops out since it has no equivalent in English. It links “created” to “heaven” and "created" to “earth.”  et is spelled aleph-tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Spanning the full set of 22 Hebrew letters from aleph to tav, et represents a prototypic media system used to create a spiritual system called “heaven” and a material system called “earth.” 

The ancient Hebrew language is a prototype of media systems used to create spiritual systems like the Bible itself. The Bible invites imaginative ways for exploring interrelationships between media systems, spiritual systems, and material systems.

The digital media system is a binary system of on-off, 1-0, light-darkness.

 “God separated between the light and darkness.” (Genesis 1:4) 

 “In the beginning” in Hebrew is B’ReiSheet, spelled with the same consonants as the word B’ReShet meaning “In the network.”

Read the beginning verses of the Bible in the language of digital culture as:

“In the network of networks (the cloud), God created media systems for creating heaven and earth.  When the earth was absolutely empty and dark, God created light and separated between light and darkness (1 and 0)”

The media system of heaven, the spiritual realm, is written in the Torah with Hebrew letters that form words. The media system of earth, the physical realm, is written with electrons and protons that form atoms and molecules. The media system of the digital realm returns us to the primeval binary creation of darkness and light, 0 and 1. It is written with the binary digits 0-1 called bits that form bytes.  Every blog, website, video, song, and text that you access from the Internet is written with the binary system of the beginning of Creation.

Cyberangels are created in the binary system and fly from Israel to Abu Dhabi and to Iowa and continue their flights around Planet Earth via the Internet.

Monday, July 5, 2021

United Arab Emirates Welcomes Cyberangels of Peace from Israel

Hebrew Malakh Shalom = Arabic Malak Salam = Angel of Peace 

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was greeted on tarmac by Emirati Minister of State Ahmed Al Sayegh as the first Israeli minister to visit the United Arab Emirates since The Abraham Accords were signed in Washington.

 He came as the guest of the Emirati Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bin Zayed to inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate of Israel in Dubai on June 29 and 30, 2021.

 To celebrate this historic event as an American-Israeli artist, I launched “Cyberangels of Peace” on virtual flights from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai. These digital age artworks express The Abraham Accords declaration of support for art and science that inspire humankind, maximize human potential and bring nations closer together.

UAE-Israel Peace as a Way of Life

The inauguration of Israel’s Embassy and Consulate in UAE was followed by an unprecedented act between foreign ministers of two countries. Yair Lapid, a Jew and Israeli, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a Muslim and Arab, defied expectations by co-authoring an article “UAE-Israel peace is more than an agreement. It's a way of life” in The National.

They wrote: “The UAE and Israel decided to do things differently with the signing of the historic Abraham Accords in 2020. With the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel, our two countries set out to determine a new paradigm for our region: one defined by the joint pursuit of peace, stability, security, prosperity and co-existence for our peoples.”

“We both want to live in a world where peace is possible. We need to work hard with our peoples and with each other. In order to achieve lasting and sustainable solutions to the issues that our region faces, we will continue to champion the spirit of peace in all efforts to shape a better world for our children. Peace isn't an agreement you sign – it's a way of life. The ceremonies we held this week aren't the end of the road. They are just the beginning.”

Abraham Accords and Year of Rembrandt

The Rembrandt-inspired "Cyberangels of Peace" are based upon the biblical passage of angels going up from the Land of Israel on a ladder in Jacob’s dream and coming down throughout the world to herald a message of peace. The angels are shown flying from the Land of Israel via smartphone and social media on the cover of my book Through a Bible Lens. The book explores the biblical roots of the Abraham Accords in the language of digital culture.

It is symbolic that one of my cyberangel artworks is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington where The Abraham Accords were signed. My artworks represent historic exemplars of computer-generated art that act to unite Abraham’s decedents. These cyberangel artworks are in the collections of thirty museums on five continents. They are documented in my blog Global Tribute to Rembrandt.   

The Bible tells of Abraham’s good feeling seeing his sons Ishmael and Isaac together in peace at his deathbed. Now, four thousand years later, we saw their heirs come together in brotherhood on the White House lawn.

The Abraham Accords corresponded with the “Year of Rembrandt” honoring the great master on the 350th anniversary of his death. Throughout the world in museums from Leiden where he was born, to Amsterdam where he established his art studio, to Oxford, Madrid, Ontario, New York, and Abu Dhabi.

Cyberangels of Peace at Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi presented the exhibition Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age, masterpieces from The Leiden Collection founded by the American Thomas S. Kaplan who wrote, “More than any other painter’s legacy, we believe Rembrandt’s ability to touch the soul represents a uniquely fitting expression of this visionary Franco-Emirati project seeking to promote tolerance and the common civilization of mankind.”

I launched my first cyberangels of peace honoring the Abraham Accords to the Louvre Abu Dhabi from the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book, where the oldest Bible texts are housed. The Louvre Abu Dhabi was created by the renowned architect Jean Nouvel to express a new era of peace and brotherhood.

It was my honor to have hosted Jean Nouvel when he came to Jerusalem to receive the Wolf Prize in Architecture in 2005. I had been appointed by the President of Israel to the Council of the Wolf Foundation that awards the acclaimed Wolf Prize to outstanding scientists and artists from around the world for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples. We sat together at the award ceremony in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) beneath a huge Marc Chagall tapestry.

Cyberangels of Peace virtual flight from Israel to the Louvre Abu Dhabi honored the inauguration of Israel’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi. On the next day, they took flight to the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai for the inauguration of Israel’s Consulate there.

Cyberangels of Peace at Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai

The Crossroads of Civilizations Museum expresses the global vision of its founder and director Ahmad Obald al Mansoori who tells how it embodies the spirit of tolerance of the ancient past where civilizations, cultures and religions met. Dubai’s location at the crossroad of global trade routes had seen it interact with leading cultures and civilizations across Europe, Asia and Africa.

At a photo exhibition reflecting Jewish life in Arab countries at Al Mansoori’s museum, he initiated collaboration with The Heritage Center for Middle East and North Africa Jewry in Israel. The Heritage Center’s CEO Ashley Perry said, "The event tonight was an attempt to build bridges between Arabs and Jews through the prism of the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa. In preserving the culture and heritage of the Jews of MENA we can build a bridge from the past to a brighter future for the good of all peoples in the region."

The cyberangel flights to Abu Dhabi and Dubai are followed by virtual flights from the Israel Museum to museums in Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and to Egypt and Jordan, the first Arab states to have signed peace treaties with Israel.

Cyberangels of Peace are waiting on the runway ready to take virtual flights from Israel to the remaining sixteen member states of the Arab League. They are also waiting for the signing of the Cyrus Accords to fly from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to the Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hebrew Malakh Shalom = Arabic Malak Salam = Angel of Peace

I live with my wife in Ra’anana, the same city north of Tel Aviv where Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lives with his wife and children. Before partaking of the Sabbath eve meal, our families join with Jewish families throughout the world singing, “May your coming be for peace, Angels of Peace, angels of the Exalted One.” The song begins with the words shalom aleikhem (may peace be with you). Shalom aleikhem is the traditional Hebrew greeting when people meet. It is akin to the Arabic greeting salam aleikum.

May the Hebrew Malakh Shalom and the Arabic Malak Salam be recognized as one and the same Angel of Peace.

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