Thoughts and Impressions

A Jew in the City

This is a perfect image of the secular-religious conflict of Israel. I had to “chase” the gentleman for a while, knowing that there was a great shot waiting for me, if just I was patient. And I think the result was worth it.

The gentleman is an Ultra-orthodox Jew, or ‘Haredi’ as we call them in Hebrew, from “those who tremble in front of God”.
The shop is a non-kosher supermarket, which is known for selling pork, which is forbidden for Jews according to Jewish religious law. These two subjects, positioned against each other, represent the extremes of both sides, the ultimate secular society, which doesn’t adhere to Jewish religious law or traditions at all, and the Haredi society, which insist that all Jews should submit to the strictest interpretations of the law.

There are of course other contrasts, the light breaking the darkness, making the elder Jew being lit by the light from the unholy shop. The colors against the black background.
And there’s of course the classical motif of the person standing outside looking in. Is he disgusted by what he sees? Does he long to go inside but refuse himself the pleasure? Or is he merely curious, looking at the people inside, maybe feeling estranged from their lifestyle, maybe even feeling pity for them?

I wanted to illustrate one of the conflicts of Israel, but there are more levels to this. I would love to hear how you “read” the photo.

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