Alex Lupu Photography

Pictures of the world

Israel


Tel Aviv:   buildings – sites – people 
Tel Aviv is a mix of old low-rise apartment buildings, renovated buildings with newer facades, and brand new luxury high rises, locally called towers. The contrasts are compelling and are evidence of the transformation the city is going through.
There are many sites to visit: small plazas, the Rabin square, picturesque streets, parks, cultural centers, a flea market, and the modern promenades and beaches — all illustrating the focus on urban development that is the core of the present Tel Aviv.
It is the people of Tel Aviv, though, who bring these buildings and sites to life. They enjoy the parks and plazas, walk the streets, wait for a bus, sit in a café, stare at the ocean waves, or just take the dog for a walk.
The many human faces of Tel Aviv, overlaid on the many architectural faces, are what makes it such a vibrant place.

 

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Restored to Life

Every Torah scroll in existence contains exactly the same text, written on parchment by scribes trained for years in the art of bringing the words of the teaching to light. Each scroll is sacred, none more so than those scrolls which come to us from the communities decimated by the Shoah, the Holocaust. These scrolls, which bore witness to some of the darkest hours of Jewish and human history, are preserved intact as a symbol of perseverance, hope, and the promise of renewal and continuity. For the Jewish people, a scroll with this history carries great significance.

In May 2011, B’nai Israel Synagogue-Dan Abraham Jewish Cultural Center of Rochester, MN became the caregiver congregation for one of those scrolls. This particular scroll was written about 350 years ago in Kolin, a small town in the present Czech Republic. It served generations of Jewish congregants, and miraculously survived the Holocaust even though its congregation did not.

Our community undertook the restoration of this Torah scroll. Each letter and each stitch was examined, revitalized, and restored by Rabbi Gedaliah Druin of Sofer.  His old hands working in perfect concert with the antiquity of the text and the history of the parchment reflect the light that still shines through as scribe, word, and artifact become one.

 

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The Old City of Jerusalem, its Stones and its People

Jerusalem’s Old City, every stone has its own history to tell and every person that lives there or visits creates his own story. These images take you from the external walls of the city, to its narrow alleys where people from all backgrounds and religions dwell, to the Western Wall with its stones, spiritual attraction, and symbolism.

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