I took a walk the other day…
Eileen had some personal errands to take care of so I decided to walk around the neighborhood “alone”. It can be a daunting task with the streets having Hebrew names and there is no apparent order in how they are laid out. So, breadcrumbs in hand, I wandered about.
I walked through some interesting neighborhoods but found nothing really exciting to shoot. But then, as I was heading home, I remembered there was a synagogue near where we live. A few weeks ago they held a parade and had a large and loud party celebrating the temple’s new Torah.
The synagogue is located behind the houses where we live, and you have to enter through two alleyways or a small side street. You would never know the synagogue is there unless you were looking for it, which I was.
I entered the synagogue with few expectations to shoot inside, since I have been asked not to shoot at other religious buildings. When I entered, I met a member of the congregation who spoke no English. I asked him, with hand gestures and holding up my camera, if it was okay to take photographs. He indicated it was okay, but also indicated that I should ask the Rabbi. The Rabbi, a very kind, genial man, agreed to allow me to shoot inside, took me to the upper sanctuary where the shabbat and holiday services are held, and even opened the Torah ark (Aron Kodesh) to allow me to see, touch and shoot the Torah’s, He also encouraged me to shoot from the upper section, the mechitza, reserved for women during the services. It was a terrific albeit brief experience, one that I soon won’t forget.
This will be our last blog from Israel as we return to the states tonight. We still have many photos and experiences to share and we will post some more once we get home and settle in. Thanks to all for your support and positive comments. We appreciate it very much.