By COLlive reporter
A camera can apparently come in handy in the battlefield.
Levik Hertzel helped the Israel Defense Force detain an Arab who has been terrorizing soldiers stationed in the holy Jewish city of Chevron this week.
He was asked by a soldier for assistance while balancing his role as photographer, capturing the sights and scenes, and Lubavitcher, by offering Tefillin and uplifting words of Torah.
The American-born Hertzel, his wife Feigy (nee Berns) and daughter moved there to help the Chabad Shluchim in the city that is dually controlled by the Israelis and Arabs.
In addition to doing his rounds among the soldiers and manning the Chabad stand at the Mearas Hamachpela, Levik photographs them for his photography project “Guardians of Chevron,” a page on Facebook that he plans eventually to publish as a coffee table book.
“As a photographer who works with the soldiers on a daily basis doing shlichus, I manage to capture them in their true element,” he told COLlive.com, the community news website to which he frequently contributes.
“So far the project has really taken off, so much so that I have soldiers’ mothers messaging me, asking for photos of their sons,” he says. “The book will be dedicated to the soldiers, as well as Chabad of Hebron for all the work they do on a daily and nightly basis.”
Hertzel is part of the crew of Rabbi Danny Cohen, Rabbi Victor Atiyah, Rabbi Itzik Naimark and Mendy Rapaport who visit the army posts around the 20% of the city that is administered by Israel, strengthening the soldiers’ spirits.
On one such tour, he says that soldiers asked for help.
“They asked me to photograph an Arab who was throwing rocks at them,” Hertzel said. “This guy was hiding for 5 minutes behind a satellite dish until he tried to make a run for it, and then I was able to get a shot of his face.”
Hertzel said that thanks to the photo, which he passed along to the local command of the IDF, they were able to identify and arrest the Arab male. “The soldiers here get stones thrown at them on a daily basis and still stand tall defending us,” he notes in awe.
He says that the photo album style book will be aimed to help “show the soldiers as people. Nice, kind and caring people, as opposed to how the world views them.”
Work on the book itself will begin in a few weeks when the Hertzel family returns to the USA, where he will be working as a destination wedding photographer under the brand Levi Hertzel Photography – LevikPhoto.com.