“Of the ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem” Talmud: Kiddushin 49B
It was an absolute honour for Blake to be invited to Jerusalem to photograph Noah’s Bar Mitzvah Ceremony at the Western Wall, the most Holy site in the Jewish world. This special city is home to so many significant religious sites, across Judaism, Christianity and Islam – it is a melting pot of culture and to walk in Jerusalem is to retrace the footsteps of the Bible.
Blake is no stranger to this location, having previous made Jerusalem his home on two occasions, including during a spell as photographer at The Jerusalem Post. To return for such a momentous occasion was amazing.
For Noah and his family, of course they were excited about the MEGA party in London that was to follow, but this was the true meaning of what it is to be a Bar Mitzvah. This was the moment that Noah stood in the footsteps of his ancestors and read the holiest of scriptures in Judaism’s most sacred spot. Fittingly for a boy named Noah, the heavens opened in the morning and this golden city was subject to a storm of torrential rain, meaning that his ceremony was held in the inner sanctum of the Western Wall. This was a deeply moving experience and one to remember for many years to come.
As Noah walked out into the Western Wall Plaza, a group of Israeli soldiers were standing to attention for their induction. They took a break to wish him ‘Mazal Tov’ and throw him into the air in celebration.
In the evening, Blake secured an incredible location – the rooftop of Aish HaTorah, known as the best view in Jerusalem – for a few portraits of this funny, loving and engaging young man. Thank you to Moshe and Seth for your assistance in making this possible!
It is a true honour to be involved in such landmark occasions, to document such extremely significant moments in the timeline of a special family like Noah’s. Our photography goes deeper than simply pointing a camera at events we witness, we immerse ourselves in what is around us. Emotional connection and real empathy allow artists to portray moments as they feel them, not necessarily as they see them.
“Oh, Jerusalem of Gold,
and of Bronze and of Light,
I am the violin for all your songs.”
Here are some of our favourite images. Next stop, London!