“People back in America say that Jewish life in Ukraine is finished, that there used to be a lot of Jews here, and now there aren’t, after all that happened. I don’t look at it this way. Ukraine was always a Jewish place, with a Jewish history and a Jewish identity, and will always be.”
Jerusalem, Israel – 2nd of March, 2014: Hundreds of thousands of religious Jews took part in a massive prayer rally at the entrance to the city, protesting against a proposed law that would punish religious communities that fail to meet their quotas for recruitment in the IDF. Members of countless haredi sects and groups prayed together, allegedly managing to bring to the same spot 600,000 Jews. This number was not accidental, for it was that many Jews who stood on mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and it is said that when as many Jews gather in one place, a …
Driving into Jerusalem from the coast, just before the gates of the city lies a ghost village: Lifta. For thousands of years, many different people inhabited these steep slopes and many armies have passed through them on their way to Jerusalem, whose old city is but a few hills away, often not with the best of intentions.
In many cultures, the beginning of winter is marked with a religious holiday dedicated to light. Northern Europeans have Saint Lucia, Hindus have Diwali, and Jews have Hanukkah, an eight-day festival in which candles are lit every evening to remember a miracle which blessed the rededication of the Beit HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) of Jerusalem, around the year 170 BCE.
Jerusalem, Israel – 9th of June, 2013: The womens’ prayer group Women of the Wall held their monthly prayers at the Kotel. After the previous month’s events, which saw thousands of religious seminary girls gather in a counter-prayer and a few hundreds of angry haredi youth causing lots of trouble, this month’s prayer tool place peacefully, also thanks to a massive deployment of Israeli policemen which physically escorted the Women of the Wall to and out of the women’s section of the Kotel, and established several barriers to protect them.