A few days in Israel, the trigger for the trip being the good news that my "East of the Sun" work was selected as one of 20 finalists among 450 participants to the 2018 Meitar Awards and shown at the Photo Is:rael international photography festival in Tel Aviv.
But I could not go all the way to Israel for the first time and not also take at least a fleeting peek at Jerusalem.
Photography comes from the heart and the mind before it gets to the eye and the camera, and because of that it is almost impossible to photograph in a place that we see for the first time.
I spent less than 48 hours in Jerusalem, and barely began to understand that complex crossroad of civilizations and religions. I did not photograph much: I could not care to make 'postcard pictures' and I struggled to find a visual rhythm, inspiration.
One area of the city, however, sparked a suddenly intense connection — as much as one can connect with an apparently alien place and people.
The ultra-orthodox quarter. Stuck in some other time, refusing to be like any other place. A refuge, I guess, a defiant fortress. A challenge to all of us who are not part of it. The challenge of seeing through the difference and reaching to our common humanity.
And with the emotions came the photographs, flooding through my eyes and camera. In black and white, timeless.