By COLlive reporter
Michoel Ogince, a South African-born Lubavitcher who grew up in Australia, is using photography to educate the world on Torah values and Chassidic teachings.
Ogince is an avid photographer and outdoor enthusiast who nurtured his photography skills traveling the world.
“My greatest learning curves in photography were hiking and camping in Australia, traveling through Europe, and a 2 month outdoor adventure in New Zealand,” he told COLlive in an interview.
Combining his passion for Judaism and love of writing, Michoel uses photography to reveal life lessons from the Torah.
It began with a weekly email which contained an original photograph and 2-5 lines of related text drawn from Chassidic and other biblical texts.
Weeks later it led to the creation of www.Oneinfocus.org, which aims to educate and inspire people on a global scale using visual technology to spread Torah values and Chassidus.
“It’s effective because G-d created us as physical beings who see the world in a physical manner,” Ogince says. “Seeing is the closest sense to the intellect and intellect is the closest garment to the soul. Teaching Torah through photography makes it digestible for the recipient.”
A FLOODED INBOX
The Oneinfocus weekly email has grown from 80 recipients to a few thousand in less than a year.
Additionally, Shluchim are making use of the emails; copying and pasting the photo and associated text into their own emails.
“This is a complimentary service we offer to Shluchim; simply put, we are trying to spread the Rebbe’s teachings to every person on the planet.”
Sydney Shliach Rabbi Eli Feldman and Uri Kaploun of Jerusalem advise Ogince regularly.
Each week Ogince’s Inbox is flooded with feedback and questions on Judaism and photography.
“Every Shabbat eve, an exquisite message graces my mailbox. Your photos are exceptionally beautiful and the words you match them with, filled with inspiration. We are fortunate that you share your gift with all of us,” one reader wrote him.
Another wrote, “Through your (camera) lens I am able to refocus my life on the bigger picture and know that G-d runs the world.”
So what comes first, the picture or the words?
“Each week G-d provides me with the picture and the Rebbe with the words. Though it’s my wife Sarah who is the driving success behind Oneinfocus,” acknowleges Ogince.
Shluchim and individuals can sign up free to use the content. Oneinfocus is on Twitter (http://twitter.com/Twabbi) where you can follow Michoel’s photo shoots and Torah learning in real-time. He is also available to photograph L’Chaims and Brisim at 646-322-3438.