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  #91  
Old July 5th, 2010, 01:20 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Are you saying there's something wrong with this one? :-)
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  #92  
Old July 5th, 2010, 11:24 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Are you saying there's something wrong with this one? :-)
Not at all, Ben!

It's just a fact that you are older, a lot has moved on in your life and you have had new experiences. I believe that all things you do, (except measuring with a ruler, perhaps), things with esthetic taste, are susceptible to change.

I love the picture just as you made it.

Asher
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  #93  
Old July 10th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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It's back! Computer all up and working and image now properly backed up! I've changed my backup schedule from 24 hour to 12 hour!

I've decided to call the picture 'Square in the City'. Pardon the pun! :-)
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  #94  
Old July 10th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
It's back! Computer all up and working and image now properly backed up! I've changed my backup schedule from 24 hour to 12 hour!
Hi Ben,

Good to hear that things worked out well.

Quote:
I've decided to call the picture 'Square in the City'. Pardon the pun! :-)
Humour helps in keeping one's sanity.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #95  
Old July 10th, 2010, 04:58 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Hi Ben, Glad it made it. Another nice pciture for your series.

MIke
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  #96  
Old July 11th, 2010, 12:46 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Thanks for the good wishes folks, nothing better than after a major computer hardware failure (motherboard, main hard disk, half of the ram) to get the new gear, plug it all in and switch on and find that your RAID disks are still working fine and everything is there!
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  #97  
Old July 11th, 2010, 01:29 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Thanks for the good wishes folks, nothing better than after a major computer hardware failure (motherboard, main hard disk, half of the ram) to get the new gear, plug it all in and switch on and find that your RAID disks are still working fine and everything is there!
Well, Ben,

All our prayers had to do something! now you can get the rest of the june brides delivered and on to more Jerusalem images for us!

Asher
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  #98  
Old August 5th, 2010, 03:39 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Having had an eye operation 2 weeks ago which rendered my right eye pretty blurry, add to that a broken wrist in plaster, 34 degree (celcius) heat and photography is pretty difficult and when your 1Ds mkIII's screen can't be seen at all due to it being rubbish in that kind of sun, focusing or composing with a lensbaby can be quite a challenge. Heck getting the tripod open and camera locked on with one hand was hard enough!

Taken me a few years to photograph one of the wells within the old courtyards of Jerusalem. Here is one at last in the foreground. A capped well, one of two in a courtyard within the Nachlaot area of Jerusalem just 3 minutes and about 100 years away from the centre of modern Jerusalem.

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  #99  
Old August 7th, 2010, 12:21 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Having had an eye operation 2 weeks ago which rendered my right eye pretty blurry, add to that a broken wrist in plaster, 34 degree (celcius) heat and photography is pretty difficult and when your 1Ds mkIII's screen can't be seen at all due to it being rubbish in that kind of sun, focusing or composing with a lensbaby can be quite a challenge. Heck getting the tripod open and camera locked on with one hand was hard enough!

Taken me a few years to photograph one of the wells within the old courtyards of Jerusalem. Here is one at last in the foreground. A capped well, one of two in a courtyard within the Nachlaot area of Jerusalem just 3 minutes and about 100 years away from the centre of modern Jerusalem.

What was it, Ben, a pterygium? Wish you a full recovery!

You are such a dedicated artist! Where n the picture s the well?

Asher
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  #100  
Old August 7th, 2010, 01:00 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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The square in the immediate foreground right is a well.
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  #101  
Old September 13th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Another from this Dream Project which I'm enjoying immensely. I'm selling the 1DsIII so it's back to the 5D. Not easy focusing a lensbaby at f22 with a dud eye and flare in the viewfinder. Most of all I miss the georgous tonality and DR of that 1dsIII. Oh well.

I've shot this place before, it's on these pages somewhere I think. Wasn't happy with the shot, took it off my website eventually altogether. I wasn't satisfied though, the incredible serenity of this alleyway/street just seconds away from the busiest junction in the city centre, it has to be seen to be believed. The courtyards leading off from this alleyway are fascinating for the artist and historian alike. Anyway, went back there today, I'm happy that I've captured the serenity of this scene. Interestingly I had captures during that hour with passing children, strolling cats, etc. The scene with the street empty however seemed to capture the poignant stillness that flows from this place.

Enough talking:


Olive trees overhanging a small alleyway where the famous Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Kook lived. Pure serenity.
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  #102  
Old September 13th, 2010, 04:15 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Another nice piece Ben.

I saw that you were selling the 1Ds3 and understand your feelings. Of course we can't see the difference in your web jpgs, and I'm sure that the prints are still wonderful.

MIke
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  #103  
Old September 14th, 2010, 12:58 PM
Valentin Arfire Valentin Arfire is offline
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beautiful image Ben, thanks for charming us

I like the graduals of the greys and the absence of deep shadows or burned highlights

serenity it is

(I would like another shot a few steps to the right so the olive trees would appear)
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  #104  
Old September 14th, 2010, 02:24 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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There was a reason for that composition, mainly as I wanted the tree to frame the path, also because the far left is covered with awnings from a huge building project :-)
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  #105  
Old October 17th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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Three new pictures from today. All within the 'Dream Project'.

1)


Elijah Gates.
I've shot these gates to the famous 4 Sephardic Synagogues of the Jewish Quarter in the past. It never really made the grade though. I found this time in passing that the bronze door had been regilded and reworked and is truly a work of art. I went for a slightly wider look and I'm quite happy with how it came out. The distortion on the lensbaby is bad, really really bad. It's uneven as well across the frame so hard to correct for. Took me a while to get it this good, after that I don't care any more!

2)


Tiferet Yisrael Street. Midday sun, the play of light between the arches was georgous, especially the tones on the ceiling and floor. I've let it blow very slightly in the highlights to give a more ethereal feel helped by the lensbaby's lack of coating (and resolution and contrast, etc! ) Tourists to the right of me, tourists to the left of me, took a while to get the shot but was very glad that I did..

3)


Orange Tree. This is also a 2nd attempt. The Orange Tree in the center of the alley is well known in the Old City, next to it is a pathway which is at various points featured in 5 of my other pictures it is so photogenic. The pathway leads to what was a poorhourse built by Baron Rothschild over a century ago to tend to the needs of the poor of the Jewish quarter. It now houses some 4 elementary schools and the children all pass by this spot. This wonderful child was dancing down the steps on his way back from school, oblivious to my clicking shutter. He pirouetted around, climbed the steps again, jumped down and ended up next to the tree where he stood gazing at me in frank, open and innocent curiosity. Youth, joy and innocence in the Old City of Jerusalem, incredibly inspiring.
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  #106  
Old October 17th, 2010, 10:22 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post

Orange Tree. This is also a 2nd attempt. The Orange Tree in the center of the alley is well known in the Old City, next to it is a pathway which is at various points featured in 5 of my other pictures it is so photogenic. The pathway leads to what was a poorhourse built by Baron Rothschild over a century ago to tend to the needs of the poor of the Jewish quarter. It now houses some 4 elementary schools and the children all pass by this spot. This wonderful child was dancing down the steps on his way back from school, oblivious to my clicking shutter. He pirouetted around, climbed the steps again, jumped down and ended up next to the tree where he stood gazing at me in frank, open and innocent curiosity. Youth, joy and innocence in the Old City of Jerusalem, incredibly inspiring.



Ben Rubinstein: Orange Tree

Ben,

This is a superb picture. It has the humanity that all your pictures evoke from centuries of hustle and bustle through the stone passageways and narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. More than that it has fresh prescient life teasing the future: "Youth, joy and innocence in the Old City of Jerusalem, incredibly inspiring"!

The composition of the child against the venerable tree is timeless!

Asher
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  #107  
Old October 18th, 2010, 06:49 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Here Asher is the 'contact sheet' from that photo. Taken in machine gun mode at 3fps and about a 1/30th. I find it fascinating.


Once he stopped at the tree I took my finger off the trigger, I knew I had the shot I wanted in that very last frame (you can see the slight crop in that last frame, it was the only one I edited). I was actually sitting some 5 yards away apparently looking at something else while triggering using a remote radio trigger. Very very useful for this kind of thing.
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  #108  
Old October 18th, 2010, 09:16 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Here Asher is the 'contact sheet' from that photo. Taken in machine gun mode at 3fps and about a 1/30th. I find it fascinating.


Once he stopped at the tree I took my finger off the trigger, I knew I had the shot I wanted in that very last frame (you can see the slight crop in that last frame, it was the only one I edited). I was actually sitting some 5 yards away apparently looking at something else while triggering using a remote radio trigger. Very very useful for this kind of thing.
Now, Ben, you have really opened up a nice new chapter in your portfolio build. This provides the viewer the extra insight and experience to go along with the final image. The remote is brilliant.

What focal length was this?

Asher
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  #109  
Old October 18th, 2010, 09:22 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Lensbaby, it's a nominal 50mm I think, I'd say a bit closer to 45mm myself but a 'normal' FOV at any rate.
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  #110  
Old October 18th, 2010, 10:02 AM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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This is excellent work, Ben, particularly the "Orange Tree" image. The monochrome final version has a feeling of a studio shot with the tree as a set prop and the stone wall and stairs as a backdrop, due to the fade.

I think the most generally valuable element to this series of posts is your "contact sheet" and your brief narrative of your own selection process. You chose what appears to be the most senimental frame from that set. But I could make a case (albeit, a poorly-informed case since the images are too tiny to really see) for at least one or two others. The first image appears to hold some powerful conceptual potential, perhaps more than the last.

Anyway, thanks for putting this up, Ben. It's a good discussion.
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  #111  
Old October 18th, 2010, 10:22 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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The monochrome final version has a feeling of a studio shot with the tree as a set prop and the stone wall and stairs as a backdrop, due to the fade.
Fascinating! That never occurred to me. It is surprising how useful the lensbaby is. I wonder if it's the character of the lens or is it the light?

Asher
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  #112  
Old October 18th, 2010, 10:22 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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I am very well aware of the 'posed' look of this pic. Heck it's the first thing my wife said!

Annoyingly though it's the image which best fits the contemplative and 'nostalgic' look of the series.

An image like this doesn't have enough without the subject to survive as an art piece on its own. It doesn't say enough, it's just not powerful enough. I realised that when I saw the scene and knew I needed a human element to 'make' the image. The other pictures although the 5th and the 4th from the end are very good 'moment' captures - are just that, street photography. They do not in my view transcend a good photograph to become a part of this project, they don't 'speak' as the final one does. I truly think that this composition will either live or die based on this, the last frame.

It's interesting Ken that you see the image as looking more posed due to the PP treatment, I actually see it as less, studio shots don't look like that and I used to do them in a previous and better forgotten life. I'm not sure if it's as apparent in the web sized image but the position of his feet have too much action in them to be a pose.

Again I realise and admit that this image will probably pose that question (pardon the pun) many times. We'll see if it lasts..
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  #113  
Old October 18th, 2010, 10:25 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Tanaka View Post
...
I think the most generally valuable element to this series of posts is your "contact sheet" and your brief narrative of your own selection process. You chose what appears to be the most sentimental frame from that set. But I could make a case (albeit, a poorly-informed case since the images are too tiny to really see) for at least one or two others. The first image appears to hold some powerful conceptual potential, perhaps more than the last.
The last frame is indeed sentimental, but don't you feel that it also transcends that superficiality because of the ancient stone buildings and the ghosts walking behind him in the narrow streets.

As for the first frame: is it the entrance of one figure and the departure of another from the "studio set", (metaphors for our lives as visitors), that tempts you towards this one over the last?

Asher
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  #114  
Old October 18th, 2010, 03:25 PM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Ben,
It's impossible to make many useful judgements about tiny, low-res images online. I'm always amused when I see long blah-blah threads on snapshots (not this thread).

But just a few additional brain farts as I revisit this "Orange Tree" image after several hours in meeting about prospective photo acquisitions. (i.e. I'm honed.)

1. Titling the image after the tree seems appropriate; the tree is the main subject. The boy is an accessory. Looking again, he just looks like he's utterly out of place. This is not a negative criticism, merely an observation. Such modern clothing, such modern hair cut in such a somewhat ancient scene. His position so near to the edge, and his posture, also suggest transience. A passer-by.

2. The entire feeling an sense of this image can be easily and powerfully manipulated by replacing the boy with other animate and inanimate items. For examples:
- a cat sitting on the stairs
- a man in orthodox attire, long beard, leading against the tree reading,
- a bicycle leaning against the wall to the right of the windows, its wheels echoing the metalwork on the windows.

And on, and on. A series of 6-9 such variations in exactly the same scene, printed in exactly the same way, could be glorious if done thoughtfully.
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  #115  
Old October 18th, 2010, 03:58 PM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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One consequence of machine-gunning ("hosing," I gather it is called in the UK) is that you can't choose your precise moments. Wouldn't you have liked a pose about 2/3 of the way between the final two frames, with the boy holding the tree but swinging his body around it?

BTW, are you based in Jerusalem now, rather than in Manchester? I tend to shoot in the modern parts of the city, not the Old City, but I've been expecting to run into you one of these days. I was at the "Medieval Evening" that ran last weekend, but that had a very different feeling -- buskers in a period setting, in the Christian Quarter:






cheers,

scott
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  #116  
Old October 18th, 2010, 09:22 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
One consequence of machine-gunning ("hosing," I gather it is called in the UK) is that you can't choose your precise moments. Wouldn't you have liked a pose about 2/3 of the way between the final two frames, with the boy holding the tree but swinging his body around it?
Scott,

For sure, one is still doing shotgun in the tiny clean scene that Ben so carefully chose. He really didn't know what would happen. With just two characters, and one leaving, there's less chance of run. So it was shotgun but hopeful. Having one cat, a cycle or one passer by is already well populated enough for Ben's work!




Had the revelry taken place, not in the Christian Quarter, but in Yemin Moshe, they would have needed this ambulance and more! Semi naked young folk would set the place into uproar!

Shooting shotgun in the melée and revelry of some wild medieval shindig gone astray is far less fruitful as there's too much untidy disorder.

Asher
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  #117  
Old October 19th, 2010, 05:11 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Ken: Transient! What a perfect term for how I have always tried to depict the human element throughout this series! I keep the shutter speed under a 1/30th for exactly this reason, to add blur, I don't want sharply defined human elements. I'm trying to depict the timeless feel of these alleyways, archways and streets. The human element has to be transient by definition when trying to depict the feel of millenia. The child has long chassidic locks of hair on either side of his face, he's wearing clothes no different to those shown by Robert Capa in his 1950's photos of Jerusalem and little if at all different to centuries here in Jerusalem. Personally I believe he fits in perfectly.

The reason I chose a child was due to the composition, an adult took up too much space in the frame to be honest, started looking like the adult was the subject which I really didn't want. I realised this the moment I saw this scene, the composition I'd chosen was too 'tight' to allow more than a small additional element to intrude without taking away from the feel of the place, for all that the additional element was a required compositional addition without which the photo would be rather bland. A delicate balance.

Scott, nice to hear from you again! I live in Jerusalem but continue to commute and work in the UK. I don't machine gun that much but when you are 5 meters away from the camera and sitting down, using a radio trigger which adds to the already slow shutter lag of the 5D, shooting at a shutter speed designed to enduce slight blur - it's just easier to shoot that way. I shoot high speed hora dancing at weddings with the same cameras in single shot mode but anticipating and mentally calculating for shutter lag is only really possible when you have your eye to the viewfinder and the shutter already half pressed.

Asher: Yemin Moshe is a beautiful, quiet and pretty modern area, I think you meant 'meah shearim'. That area is like the touchpaper for unrest at present, I stopped trying to photograph there due to this atmosphere and the squalid nature of the neighbourhood which though perhaps honest as a depiction of the past, isn't quite photogenic! :-)
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  #118  
Old October 19th, 2010, 06:27 AM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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Default who populates the streets of old Jerusalem?

Cats and children, of course. The older men are all indoors, reading, praying and conversing. The women are working. The child in your picture wears a black kippa (Yarmulke), has small payes (sidelocks), wears the uniform of a white shirt, black pants and black shoes. I don't see any tsitsit (fringes from his special undershirt), but he is absolutely characteristic. There's room for a cat, probably also in black, in case you wanted a more complex composition.

Do you have a gallery of wedding dancing photos? I took a series at an Ultraorthodox wedding a few years ago (it's in my pbase account), but you've probably gotten very much further into it. Does your wife photograph the festivities on the women's side? I think combining the furious motion with good facial expressions, all under wildly varying light, poses a pretty interesting challenge. Plus it looks like a lot of fun.

cheers,

scott
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  #119  
Old October 19th, 2010, 06:30 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Hey it was Ken who wanted a cat, I've done a cat already! :-)

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  #120  
Old November 19th, 2010, 05:19 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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A return to 6X12, only image from a day up in Tzfat (Safed), you get some days like that, nothing ever seems to work. I had my back to the Abuhav Synagogue one of the most famous ancient (500 year old) kabbalistic synagogues in Tzfat. I was taking a bit of a breather, the uneven cobbled stones of Tzfat's Old City are murder on the ankles! The entrance to the synagogue was behind me and within a school group were singing popular age old Jewish tunes within the confines of a synagogue as old as the tunes themselves. I turned and saw this view and as the sun set with the children singing 'Shalom Aleichem', 'peace be onto you', I took this photograph.


Shalom Aleichem

The Sabbath will soon start here and I too will be in the synagogue singing the ancient song of Shalom Aleichem, welcoming in the Sabbath, the peace and serenity of a return to the day which to Jews for 3000 years has signified a break from the worries and troubles of the week. My thoughts will be with this scene and the children singing in happiness and innocence...
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