This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Torah scroll dedication’

Torah Scroll Dedication (Oct. 9, 2011)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 10, 2011

Torah Scroll Dedication

I was on my way home from the grocery store yesterday after work, when I heard the music coming from Gilgal Street and remembered that there was a hakhnasat sefer torah/Torah scroll dedication that evening. Fortunately, I had my DSLR camera with me, so I stashed my groceries in my backpack and ran down with my camera. (Yes, I do love my new point&shoot and carry it everywhere but I really missed the speed and versatility of the DSLR, so I started carrying it with me again.) I really enjoyed the opportunity to photograph a challenging subject. Capturing photos of people moving around at night, without using a flash or tripod, can be tricky. The still photos were taken with a Canon Digital Rebel XSi (aka 450D), 18-135mm lens, no flash, RAW format. The Sefer Torah was dedicated by the Spector family in memory of Ziva Spector, z”l.

The photo above shows the Torah scroll being carried under a chuppah, since the scroll is like a bride. The bearded man facing the camera might be Rav Katz, the chief rabbi of Maale Adumim. I’m not sure. I’ll have to check the notice to see who was scheduled to speak. I liked the face of the little girl looking up.

They organized a children’s section with lit torches but it had become somewhat disorganized by the time I got there.

Torah Scroll Dedication

Torah Scroll Dedication

It’s not often that I get such a good view from above. I went back to my flat, dumped the groceries, and went out on the balcony to take a few photos from above.

Torah Scroll Dedication

I zoomed in to show the other Torah scrolls that are brought out of synagogue to “greet the bride.”

Torah Scroll Dedication

Torah Scroll Dedication

Here’s a short video clip of the procession. I’ve always wanted to try recording one of these events and now I finally have a camera that do a decent job of shooting HD video at night. This was shot with the Canon PowerShot S95. The strong yellowish cast is really how it looks. It’s very difficult to correct the colour of these streetlights, even shooting with tungsten white balance, which is why the colour correction is a little uneven. I was processing these photos quickly to get them up on Flickr. (If they were for a paid job I would have done a batch colour correction.)

Posted in Israel, Judaism, photography | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Torah Scroll Dedication

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 26, 2010

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

Yesterday I was on my way home from work. Suddenly the minibus stopped because a crowd was blocking the street. I had to walk down the block but I stopped to take few photos of the event. The Torah scroll was being dedicated by the Moroccan synagogue in our neighbourhood. It takes about a year of full-time work for a scribe to write a scroll. When it’s finished, there’s a big celebration. The scroll is likened to a bride, and I’ve seen processions in which the scroll was carried under a chuppah.

There was quite a crowd of men and boys dancing around the man carrying the scroll (it gets handed around and is carried down by different men). I managed to get a good photo of the scroll in its silver-covered case, one of the few shots that I managed to take in sunlight. Most of the street is lined with apartment buildings, which cast long shadows over the street.

The photo below was greatly cropped, so I rendered it as black/white to offset the grainy appearance. A soldier lifts up his young daughter so that she can kiss the scroll.

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

Ever have the feeling that everyone is staring at you?!!  🙂

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

I always try to find a high place to stand when photographing a crowd. I ran up a flight of steps and was standing on the landing outside the flat of Rabbi Nahum Rabinovich, the head of the Birkat Moshe Yeshiva and a prominent rabbi (he has his own Wikipedia entry). While I was taking the photos, the rabbi came out to watch, so they were actually looking at him. I moved to one side so that he could go down the stairs to the circle of dancing teenage boys.

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

They brought the Torah scroll over to him. I remained on the landing for a few minutes and took these photos.

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

Since the Torah scroll is like a bride, she is joined at some point by her “sisters,” the other Torah scrolls from that synagogue. At this point there were no staircases for me to get a good high view and it was getting dark but I managed to take this photo. (The staircase to the women’s section of the Pnei Shmuel synagogue doesn’t have enough room to manoeuver a camera and it’s above a large porch. My balcony used to be a good place to take photos of the street in front of the synagogue but the trees have grown high enough to block the view.)

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

This collection wouldn’t be complete without a photo of the outlandish vans that provide the music at these events. The lights blink, music blares from loudspeakers, and sometimes steam or smoke pours out of the top (it’s meant to be a special effect, not a mechanical malfunction). They really are something to see. This is actually a rather restrained version of this type of vehicle. I’ve seen some that are much larger. The bulbous lights on top are meant to represent the finials or bells (“rimonim”) decorating the handles of a Torah scroll. This photo was taken from my balcony. It was about the only thing I could photograph above the trees.

Hakhnasat Sefer Torah

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