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Photo Journalism Blog

Orde Wingate


At Mount Gilboa, we heard the story of Orde Wingate, who connected to the Jewish people’s holy text on such a level that he could defend their ancestors and then them. His story parallels my own in some ways. Although he was ancestrally disconnected from Judaism, I have felt doubtful and awkward around my own connection to it. The story of Orde’s heroism, the farming at Setaf, and the entire experience at the Cotel have a common theme: Community. Just as “Saw you at Sinai” is a reminder that all of our souls have met before and are interconnected, the Wall and Windgate’s devotion to the text prove to me that this ‘word of God’ is accessible in way more ways than one. At the Cotel, I prayed for my synagogue; my first community. I also thought about my ancestors farming at Setaf, and all of those around the world who never made it to the Wall. I also prayed for myself. I know it is necessary, because I am the continuation of their hopes and loves. I have a responsibility filling the world with goodness and light; values the Jewish people carry so closely. They are in my heart, so of course I saw them farming. Of course I saw them fighting. I remember. - Aviva