I haven’t had much time to work lately because of the end of the year school activities of my girls. Lili’s choir, Bat Kohl had a concert at the Dormitian Abbey and Monastery in Jerusalem on Friday; I decided to do a little photo shoot in this beautiful and historic site.
The Dormitian Abbey and Monastery is a German Benedictine church established at the end of the 20th century. The Ottomans gave the land to the Germans and they rebuilt the abbey at the top of Mount Zion to commemorate the Virgin Mary.
German monks clad in brown robes can be seen gliding through the abbey. The church is filled with beautiful mosaics and stained glass windows.
After the choir concert, we wandered outside to wait for Lili; this is the view outside the abbey, on the top of Mt. Zion.
The scenery bekoned me further up the path, away from the abbey to the huge and impressive Zion Gate, one of four gates into the Old City of Jerusalem.
Emili passed through the Zion gate into the Armenian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, one of four quarters of the city. The stones under the gate are smooth and hard to walk on; you can drive through the gate.
This is Lili’s choir group, the Bat Kohl girls of Tel Aviv, directed by Anat Morahg. Lili is the blond in the center with a big smile on her face! You can see the girls performing here and here, enjoy!
Several years ago I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, it had been redesigned and it had a new format for the viewers, one that led them through the events of history in a twisty, turny path. I had been there before and not much was new to me, the sadness was the same and surrealistic quality of this historic event pervaded. On this visit, I came upon an exhibit that I’d never seen before, one that has stayed with me ever since, one that spoke to me more than the others.
I can’t remember their names and I can’t find anything about this exhibit on the internet, but I remember the story. Prisoners were given various jobs, one Jewish prisoner was given the job of toy maker, the prisoner’s creative talents had spared her life. Day in and day out her job was to make beautiful toys for the German children. One of the toys that she made, she kept hidden away; she had made a flower doll for her daughter whom she hoped to see again one day. The old, ragged cloth doll was displayed in a small glass case amongst many other tragic stories in the museum. The history of the flower doll was written on a small plaque, it pointed out some of the harshest realities of the war, the ones that involved the children. The woman’s daughter did not survive the war and she never received the flower doll that her mother made for her.
Flowers and toys seem out of place is such a horrible setting and I try not to think about the realities of the flower doll story, lest they take me to a dark place that I don’t want to be. I’ve always wanted to make a flower doll, not only because of the flower doll story, but because I think flowers bring people joy, hope and beauty and all of us need those things, no matter what our situation.