By COLlive reporter
Seeing life in the holy city of Chevron up close is a rarity, or risk, not everyone takes.
A new coffee-table photo album brings the sights and images of daily life in Chevron for viewing in the safe comfort of your living-room.
70 full color pages are filled with portraits of Israel Defense Soldiers stationed in the volatile city and of the activities of Chabad of Chevron for them and the Jewish residents living under threat.
“Just saying the name Chevron conjures up images of violence, strife, stones and glass bottles,” says Levik Hertzel, the Lubavitcher photographer who is publishing the book and frequently contributes to COLlive.com.
“But this is not the Hebron I know and lived in, on and off for the past few years,” he says. “Chevron Hebron was ever meant to be.”
Born and raised in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, Hertzel grew up with a strong connection to Israel. After his marriage, he and his wife Feigy(nee Berns) lived in Chevron for 6 months before moving back to the U.S. and settling in Houston, Texas (with a dream to return to Chevron soon).
He notes that the name Chevron is derived from the word Chibur which means unity and connection.
The connection begins with our patriarch Avraham, who purchased the cave of Mearas Hamachpaila there, and it is the first place that Yitzchak saw his wife while he was praying Mincha for the first time. It is also where Yaakov raised his children who would ultimately be the tribes of Israel.
“Chevron is about uniting the spiritual energies out there into one powerful force of good,” he says. “Sadly, however, this is not the Chevron portrayed in the media today. Which is why I set about capturing the sites and soldiers with a few words on what life and Chevron mean to them.”
Part of the proceeds of the sales will be going to support Chabad of Chevron, led by Shliach Rabbi Danny Cohen. During his stay in Chevron, Hertzel assisted Cohen in his activities and says he was deeply moved by his devotion and care.
“I hope readers will enjoy this journey to the holy city with me and take away a newfound understanding and feeling of what Chevron really is,” he says.
For more info and to order the book, visit levikfoto.com