a photoblog by ben fredman

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Tefillin are two small boxes containing hand-scribed biblical verses and the leather straps attached to them. They are an essential part of the traditional morning prayer services of Orthodox Jews. They are worn on the head and arm, wrapped in a traditional manner, to be close to the mind and heart.

I've always wanted to do a project on this interesting and beautiful Jewish tradition, but I was never in a place with many Orthodox Jews. Now, I have my chance. I will focus on doing a multimedia presentation, something that utilizes the visuals, the ambient sound of prayer and audio of an in-depth explanation by a Rabbi. These are a few shots from my first visit to the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ. I plan on visiting a few different shul's for a better visual variety and diversity of participants.


Brandon said...

The first one is nice dude, but I'm digging that third one for sure. You've some nice details so far. Definitely try to show what this means to these guys and get that emotion. I'm sure it's there. But, good start man, I'm glad you're doing your own thang, now you've got TWO stories that you enjoy shooting. Cool stuff man, I'm digging the BW.

andrei said...

Nice! It's not easy to photograph this topic. Good thing is you need to take it beyond the literal pictures, so that'll take you up a few steps. Good luck!

cohnhead said...

Growing up Reform I always thought this practice was so foreign. The wya the strap creeped up the length of the arm, especially. Keep going with it.



I am a freelance photographer and educator specializing in documentary, editorial and travel photography based in St. Petersburg FL.
All Images © Ben Fredman, The Free Lance-Star, The Dallas Morning News, The Star-Ledger, The Muskegon Chronicle and The Post Register.