HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Rescued from the lost and found, this image surfaced while I was searching my library for images for a book about prayer. I located only a single shot, which tells me the elements conspired to unite but for an instant before falling into further randomness. However long it lasted, it was sufficient for me to spy it and grab hold of it.
This shot was taken during an Israeli Independence Day morning prayer service featuring the recitation of Hallel with musical instruments, including an accordion, whose keyboard is seen here. I don’t associate Jewish prayer with music other than the individual voices which join together in song, so this picture has a degree of tension generated by the incongruity of the subjects. Yet they share a powerful visual link of contrasting colors and a similarity of pattern.
Although the three components of the photo – the keyboard, the arm and tefillin and the tallit – are all recognizable, they are seen without context. Abstract photographs, especially those with strong form and lines, often connect us to inner states of emotion and ideas. I am reminded of the Paul McCartney song, "Ebony and Ivory," in which he sings the keys of his piano "live together in perfect harmony." Music is a harmony of sound while prayer is a harmonization of spirit. As we enter the months of Adar, may we all receive a double dose of joy and harmony in our lives.