Tag Archives: Jerusalem

Jerusalem – The most venerated site on earth

Jerusalem –  The Most Venerated Site on Earth

From the Arthur Hotel in Jerusalem located on the famous Dorot Rishonim Street, I overlook the walking area of Ben-Yehuda Street, named after the founder of modern Hebrew, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. Yehuda believed Hebrew and Zionism shared a symbiotic relationship.  This location is a perfect ten-minute walk from the Old City. As I feel the warm evening breeze, I hear the buzz of this midrachov, pedestrian mall. I hear the sounds of this historic city as I watch people eating at sidewalk cafes. Street musicians play their guitars as the smell of falafel cooking is in the air, while cats wander about looking up to me to say hello in the land of milk and honey. On the Sabbath morning, I hear the sound of silence. No cars, buses, or people’s voices, only the quiet that comes from respecting the day of rest.

© hannah kozak

Child in Jerusalem

Between Egypt and Mesopotamia a land bridge known as Canaan connected Africa to Asia. This land passage of Canaan which became Israel was a geopolitical death trap then and today. It was predestined to be a battlefield of the ages and is one of the most volatile locations on our planet. Scholars and holy men find her to be the navel of the world. I like to visit elevated places that are instructional and educational so Jerusalem is a perfect fit. The Four Quarters of the Old City are made up of The Jewish, Muslim, Armenian and the Christian quarters. Jerusalem causes one to look more closely at everything, not just observe and definitely stop judging.

© hannah kozak

Mother and children on the Sabbath in The Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem

Abraham’s wanderings were around 1800 BC. The first written mention of Jerusalem appeared on Egyptian clay pottery known as execration texts around 1850 BC. Jerusalem has been called the most venerated site on earth, a halfway house between heaven and earth. The Jews have always loved Jerusalem the most, almost like a best friend where the love is constant, Jerusalem never fails to give me hope and strength.

© hannah kozak

Child in Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Boys at school in Jerusalem

I wandered into this shop called Sinjilawi while I was in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem. The colors, fabrics, smells of incense, lights and pottery grabbed my attention as I spoke to Omar Hamad, who explained to me that nine generations of his family have owned this business in the Arabic section of the Old City. I loved peeking down the fifty nine foot (eighteen meter) well that is inside their store.

© hannah kozak

Sinjlawi – Old City, Jerusalem

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Sinjlawi – Old City, Jerusalem

@ hannah kozak

Sinjlawi – Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Children – Jerusalem

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Jerusalem

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Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Jerusalem

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Israeli soldiers – Jerusalem

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Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers - Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers – Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

A favorite falafel shop in the Old City, Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Children in Jewish Section- Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Children in Jewish Quarter -Jerusalem

© hannah kozak

Jerusalem

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The Old City – Jerusalem

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Children playing – Old City, Jerusalem

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Near the Jaffa Gate – Old City, Jerusalem

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Israeli Soldiers – Old City, Jerusalem

 hannah kozak

Old City, Jerusalem

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Jerusalem cat- I bring fish in my pocket to share with the wandering cats

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Shop in Jerusalem

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Another delicious breakfast in Israel – @ Arthur Hotel

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Where do the children play? Old City, Jerusalem


Israel’s Memorial Day Remembrance in Jerusalem with James Turrell’s Space That Sees

Jerusalem proved to be full of surprises that will stay with me forever. I walked into James Turrell’s “Space That Sees” at the Israel Museum of Art with a new friend I met at The Arthur Hotel in Jerusalem. I could be in a pyramid, a mausoleum, or a temple from this creation by Turrell, who is known for spaces with openings in the ceilings or walls and edges so thin that it looks like there’s no separation between them and our sky. Turrell has the ability to seduce people into paying attention to the present, to find gratification from staring at the sky for long periods of time.  While observing the sky through this profoundly simple work of art, I was feeling a deep connection to my surroundings in Israel. There is an acute sense of Jewishness here, a spiritual connection between land and soul. I belong.

© hannah kozak

James Turrell – A Space That Sees @ The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

We sat on the concrete and limestone and within moments of arriving, a siren started, commemorating Israel’s Memorial Day.  Everyone in the space stood simultaneously, no one moved an inch and I felt the stirrings of my father’s past come up inside me. The tears are healing.  There is a desolation in traveling that is soul crushing yet I imagined my father getting on a boat called General Blachford, alone, crossing the Atlantic from Germany, not knowing the language where he was heading, without any money, or a friend in the world and I am filled with and energized by his fearlessness and bravery. So while fear is an obstacle for most people, it is an illusion for me. I’m never alone for too long for G-d is in my heart and always seems to put wonderful souls into my path. I was also moved by the friendly, caring spirit of my new found friend who lives in Rome, that I met in Jerusalem.

© hannah kozak

In observation of Israel’s Memorial Day

The others left the space shortly thereafter the ending of the siren, clearly planning to be in the space for that event, while ours was a serendipitous moment, simply divine synchronicity followed by a meditative experience, laying on the ground together, looking up to the heavens imaging saints and thanking the angels for making this magic occur.

© hannah Kozak

James Turrell – A Space That Sees

Situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem is the Israel Museum, one of the leading art museums in the world. These works of art in particular, made me take notice and moved me.  If something moves me, I like to photograph it. If something causes me pain, I photograph it. Art is meant to provoke feelings; good or bad. As I continue to wander through Israel, I feel alive. I find myself by getting lost.

Adi Nes

Adi Nes – Untitled – 1996

© hannah kozak

Adi Nes – Untitled- 1999

This is Adi Nes’ version of the “Last Supper”. There are fourteen young Israeli soldiers sitting and standing at a long table in a bullet-pocked desert barracks. His photos are elaborately staged, often homoerotic, with macho Israeli soldiers featured.

“I wanted to express the idea that in Israel, death lingers. Death is being foreshadowed in most of these pictures,” says Nes, standing in front of his huge “Untitled” (1999), which was inspired by Leonardo’s “Last Supper.”

Israelis, he says, “are dying not only in combat, but in their daily activity — from bombs on buses, suicide bombers in restaurants. The moment you serve as a soldier, you choose to give yourself over to the society, to the army, to someone else. You have to take the possibility you’re going to die. Here, I tried to incorporate the idea that this supper may be the last for any of them, not just Jesus. All of them are Jesus, all of them are Judas, ” adds Nes, whose pictures, with their attention to detail and dramatic contrast of light and shadow, are composed with an eye toward Caravaggio.

© hannah kozak

Henri Edmond Cross – Clearing in Provence ca. 1906

© hannah kozak

Théo van Rysselberghe, The Mediterranean at Le Lavandou, 1904

© hannah kozak

Camille Pissarro
Sunset at Éragny, 1890

© hannah kozak

Paul Gaugin, Upa Upa, (The Fire Dance) 1891

© hannah kozak

Vincent Van Gogh, Corn Harvest in Provence, June 1888

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Oscar Kokoschka, The Eibe at Dresden, 1918-1922

© hannah kozak

Andre Derain, Three Trees, L’Estaque, 1906

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Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hebuterne, Seated, 1918

 © hannah kozak

Hans Hofman, Golden Glows into a New Day, 1965


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