The collection of photographs in "Custom, Prayer and Ceremony" exposes only a small part of the spiritual activity taking place in Israel, and most of which is far removed from the camera's lens. As an Israeli-born Jew with a secular up bringing education, I became familiar with and learned to appreciate and respect the people who lead a religious lifestyle while photographing them. This book documents that meeting between secular and religious without trying to explain the lifestyle and customs of Judaism. Many books have been written by Israel's great sages, Rabbis, spiritual and academic leaders and they explain, interpret and reveal the origins of these customs and ceremonies. As a photographer, it was important for me to show the religious experiences of Israeli Jews from my personal point of view.
My journey into the realm of the customs and ceremonies of Charedi (strictly religious) and traditionally observant Jews in Israel started on Lag B'Omer, 2004 in Meron, during the annual mass Hilulah (festive commemoration) at the burial site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Along with hundreds of thousands of celebrants, I arrived to the site with my camera. I was curious to observe this gathering from up close and to experience one of the largest and most spectacular religious ceremonies taking place in Israel.
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