That night I slept
restlessly. Still shrouded in a sense of mystery that I was unable to shake off
I felt trapped inside a bubble.
I am not a religious person
and in my childhood was raised as totally secular. Yet my visit to the Old City
of Jerusalem earlier that day had aroused in me a special attraction, a pull I
was unable to deny the narrow alleyway, the entrance, the eerie
silence, a sense of peace. I had been
there dozens of times before, and yet suddenly on that occasion I was
by this powerful sensation.
It was almost midnight when
I decided to return, if only to relive that feeling that had remained with me
throughout the day and allowed me no rest. It was only an hour's drive. Passing
Sha'ar Haguy I soon reached the outskirts of the city. It was quiet and the
streets were deserted.
Only another moment and I
would be there. The pictures in my head continued to roll on ceaselessly, my
brain afire with sights that I was already imagining. And then, with a feeling
, imagination turned into reality
Mount Zion, a small alley
leading off it, Dormition Abbey standing proudly opposite. Only another few
steps. Aiming my camera at both sky and earth, my wide angle lens captured the
sight through the grey fog.
And suddenly there they
were, face to face, the young men with their heads covered in fur-trimmed
shtreimels. I held on to my camera, waiting, seeking first to understand them.
What is the special impact that this unique city has on everyone As night
began to give way to day, as the bright moonlight began to pale and heavy
clouds loomed in the sky, I saw the men leaning against the church walls.
The camera shutter clicked
and I knew that I had captured the moment on film. Here was the irresistible
attraction of that night.
The unique atmosphere of
the Holy City has pulled me back again and again, camera always in hand. The
pictures have accumulated. Busy, crowded streets, stone facades and roofs,
religious and secular, Jews, Christians and Muslims, old and new cities, a pot
pourri of smells, sights and senses, infinite colors - all of which I now pass
on to the observer's imagination.
They all blend together to make up