Tag Archives: Prayer

Mincha Prayer, Flea Market, Jaffa, Israel 2009

A group of local shopkeepers in Jaffa (the historic seaport just south of Tel Aviv) meet daily to form a minyan (a quorum of 10 men) so they can recite afternoon prayers.  

Church Services, Mi’ilya North Galilee, Israel 2010

About 4% of Israel’s residents practice Christianity; most are Arab Christians and either Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic. Israeli law guarantees freedom of religion for all faiths and protects all holy sites.

Tisha B’Av, Jerusalem, Israel 1997

Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, marks the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. This event happened almost 2,000 years ago, yet Jews around the world still mourn the loss every year on Tisha B’Av. And what better place to observe this day of mourning and fasting than at the …

The Wall, Jerusalem, Israel 2010

The Kotel Ha-Maaravi, or Western Wall, is considered the holiest spot for Jews today. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Kotel is the only part of the ancient Jewish Temple that remains standing. It was actually part of the retaining wall that held up the Temple Mount, on which the Temple stood. Today, …

Russian Christian Pilgrims, Sea of Galilee, Israel 2010

The Sea of Galilee (Ha-Kinneret) is a popular destination for Christian pilgrims. Many episodes in Jesus’s life, according to the New Testament, took place in and around the Sea of Galilee, including the miracle of walking on water and the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel 2010

A Hasidic man stands at a gravesite on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives has been the site of a Jewish cemetery for 3,000 years and holds about 150,000 graves. The rocks atop the gravestone reflect the Jewish tradition of placing stones, rather than flowers, as a …

Mosque, Tur’an, Israel 2010

Tur’an is an Arab town in the north of Israel. Its population of 11,000 is mostly Muslim. Israeli law guarantees freedom of religion for all faiths and protects all holy sites.  

Sunrise Shema, Sde Boker, Israel 2003

The people in this photograph are reciting morning prayers in the heart of the Negev Desert, just outside a kibbutz called Sde Boker. Sde Boker is where Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, chose to retire. His vision and hope was that Israelis would move to the Negev and make the barren land flourish. Over …

Moroccan Rabbi, Be’er Sheva, Israel 2008

Since 1948, nearly a million Jews have come to Israel from Arab and Muslim lands—a large portion in just the first couple of decades of Israel’s existence. They came to escape religious intolerance and poverty, and to start new lives in their historic homeland. In 1948, there were over a quarter of a million Jews …

Flea Market Mincha Time, Yafo, Israel, 2009

In Jaffa, the port neighborhood which is part of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, the centrally-located fleamarket (shuk) is like thousands of others across the Middle East, an environment of hustling, hollering and haggling. All of these changes at midday, when the hot Mediterranean sun is at its peak and for twenty minutes many of the …

Priestly Blessing Cartagena, Colombia, 2011

In this photograph, a father draws his three sons to his chest during the Birkat Kohanim, the priestly blessing. In the tradition of many Sephardic communities, including this one in Cartagena, Columbia, men cover the heads of their children during the blessing so they can focus on the meaning of the Hebrew words while it’s …

Boys in Cartagena, Colombia, 2011

These young students in Cartagena are posed around the bimah after their morning prayers. Most of them have had a bar mitzvah and are wearing tefillin and a tallit, but a few of them are not yet of age. The community is also a relatively young one, primarily made up of recent converts to Judaism. …

Women Praying, Lima, Peru, 2003

At a house on the outskirts of Peru’s capital city, Lima, women pray the afternoon service, mincha. As part of a community of recent converts to Judaism, the congregation lacks some of the basic resources that other groups might take for granted. For instance, they read from a paper Torah scroll rather than a more …

Shema Yisrael, Medellín, Colombia, 2011

Prayer is a central focus of any Jewish community, whether it is conducted in the home, a synagogue, a community center, or outdoors. The rituals in this Latin American congregation may look like ones you have seen or participated in. Members of this community adhere to Orthodox traditions, with men and women sitting separately, and …

Kabbalat Shabbat, Cold Spring, New York, 2008

The Sabbath candles have been lit. The women and girls cover their eyes as they recite the blessing over the ‰flames. For millennia, this is how the weekly Sabbath has been heralded in Jewish communities across the globe. According to the rabbis of the Talmud, there are two reasons for lighting Sabbath candles—one practical and one spiritual. The …

Basic Training, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1996

These men and women are cadets in the U.S. Air Force. Every day, they get up at the crack of dawn and go through the challenges and rigors of basic training. But these cadets are also Jews. So once a week, on Friday night, they get together for a couple of hours at the synagogue on their …

Tisha B’Av, Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel, 1997

Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, marks the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. This event happened almost 2,000 years ago, yet Jews around the world still mourn the loss every year on Tisha B’Av. And what better place to observe this day of mourning and fasting than at the …

Waiting for Seven Jews, Djerba, Tunisia, 1995

This is the El-Ghriba Synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba. Although the current building was constructed in 1929, it is believed that a synagogue has existed on this site for 2,000 years. According to tradition, the Œfirst synagogue on the spot was built with a stone from the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. If you look closely at …

Sunrise, Sde Boker, Israel, 2003

The people in this photograph are reciting morning prayers in the heart of the Negev Desert, just outside a kibbutz called Sde Boker. Sde Boker is where Israel’s fiŒrst Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, chose to retire. His vision and hope was that Israelis would move to the Negev and make the barren land ‰flourish. Over the years, Israel …

Summer Camp, Tumwater, Washington, 2002

It’s time for morning services at Camp Solomon Schechter, in Tumwater, Washington. As the Torah is raised, the kids point with their fiŒngers, symbolically kissing the Torah and lending their support to the Magbiah, who lifts up the scroll. Founded Œfifty years ago, Camp Solomon Schechter in Tumwater, Washington, “provides Jewish youth, families, and adults from the U.S. …