Tag Archives: Rituals

Ben Gurion’s Grave, Sde Boker, Israel 2009

David Ben Gurion was a primary founder and the first Prime Minister of Israel. He is buried at Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev Desert, along with his wife, Paula. Ben Gurion spent the last 20 years of his life at Sde Boker. His former home there is now a museum.

Matzah Oven, Bukharia, Uzbekistan, 2000

In this photograph, an elderly woman removes a round piece of freshly baked matzah from a clay oven. Baked the old fashioned way, this handmade matzah is said to be denser and chewier than the crunchy machine-made variety. This photograph was taken after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Under Soviet rule in Uzbekistan and …

Shabbat Welcome, Holon, Israel, 2012

Israeli society is made up of Jewish communities from a variety of backgrounds as well as differing levels of participation in the rituals of Jewish life. It is possible to take the culture and language for granted and neglect the spiritual and religious dimensions of being Jewish in a Jewish state. At a community center …

Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel, 2010

Here is a photograph of The Mount of Olives (Har HaZeitim) with the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City and the rotunda of the Dome of the Rock in the distance. Once covered in olive groves, The Mount of Olives has been used for burials since Biblical times and is referenced in writings from the time …

A Scribe, Berkeley, California, 2010

From the inscription of a single letter up through the completion of an entire scroll, the mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah is a very important commandment as it continues the chain of Jewish tradition and study. Here, Julie Seltzer, one of a handful of female sofers (scribes) worldwide, sits at a desk, comparing the …

Clergy Rehearsal, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.A., 2010

In this Californian synagogue, two musicians from Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa, join their friend Cantor Mike Stein (right) in song at Temple Aliyah. Rabbi Gershom Sizomu (left) and his son Igaal (center), come from a small but dedicated community known as the Abayudaya (“People of Judah” in Luganda, the local language), that …