This translation was done from the Hebrew original at http://www.hodu.co.il/??????/??????–????–????–?????–??????
Translation by David Minsky with Giselle Le’Aupepe, with minor additional edits. For images described in the article, see the original Hebrew article.
Today (Thursday, February 2nd 2014, at 20:00) an exhibition will open in “Uriel 23” (Uriel Acosta 23) in Tel Aviv, an exhibition that is in its entirety a celebration of India. The creators of the exhibition, led by Eli Birnbaum, have been organizing groups that travel to India under the banner of “Massah,” as a unique idea of the Messianic Jewish community in the country.
“We really love India, and we wanted to do an exhibition to show to Israelis, those who have travelled to India and those who haven’t yet, the beauty and the experiences that it contains,” says Birnbaum. “The exhibition will be a place in which people can come and remember their own trip and the experiences they lived, as well as connect with artists and the experiences their work portray. This is also the place for people who want to travel to India and are interested in getting a little taste of what it represents for people who already visited there.”
David Minsky (24) came to India as part of “Massah” and says that: “The summation of my experience in India was answers to questions that came up and the conversations that developed with fellow travellers about my faith and that of my friends around me. I was happy to listen to personal stories and spiritual experiences, but also to share what I believe and discuss what brought me to the Messianic faith, which as a Jewish Israeli is something that never goes undisputed.”
The photo of the antenna, taken by Minsky, represents for him the connection with the fellow Christian body in India, especially the connection with a friend named Rajan. The cross, for Minsky as a Jew, is “a symbol full of negative connotations, but also a central motif in art, and it represents the connection with God through Yeshua, and also my connection with believers who are not Jewish around the world—like Rajan.”
Another photo that Minsky exhibits is of a little two week old puppy in Manali. The photo was taken on a rainy day, and one of the merchants draped a blanket around the little pup and lay him on a chair in the front of his store—an example of the great mercy abundant in India.
The photo of the birds above the stone cupolas was taken in the Taj Mahal. Minsky tells that the cupolas, which define Mongolian architecture, really drew his attention because of their shape, and that he noticed the birds only after taking the photo.
Shoshana Birnbaum, who traveled as part of the Messianic community as well, tells that the trip was such a joy to her, and because of it she began to intuitively document the journey. “India has so many amazing and unique views, and it is natural to want to capture the moment,” she says. What really caught her eye was the natural beauty of the sub-continent and the “baroque chaos” that she recognized in it.
Hadas Weissman, another partner in the exhibition, traveled to India with her children for a few months and these days she’s working on a book. “As part of my journey I wrote a few journals, and in the exhibition I pass on a bit of the essence of the experience I went through in India,” she says. Some of the experiences that Hadas chose to share are ones that fellow travellers will be able to identify with, but some are “as if disconnected from a parallel universe. I called the exhibition ‘Shreds from the journal and time,’ because it shows ten pieces from my journal that I chose to tear out and present”.
Hadas has an exceptional journey story, drenched in no small pain : “A year ago I lost Guy, my husband. I immediately emptied the rented apartment and moved in with my parents along with my kids. I tried to get back to normal life, to create workshops about ‘your place in a relationship,’ which is something I developed along the way, living out my relationship with Guy. From that point of success in standing on my two feet again, I understood how deep the brokenness was. Meanwhile, a friend of mine and of Guy for the last six years, Prof. Ramsh Kanganti from the Heiderabad University in India, called me to tell me he’s helping an Israeli volunteer NGO [non-governmental organization] in the city, and he suggested I come and stay with them. Ramsh had always invited us with an open heart to stay at his home, but India was for me like a fable not planned for my life. This time, I just jumped on the opportunity to run away from emotional chaos and I said yes.”
When did you travel?
“I planned that we travel in the summer break, but everything just told me to get up and leave! A month since that conversation on the phone, we were on a plane. Because of the bureaucracy of traveling with my two children to the East, I didn’t give time to investigate who or what is India, what it looks like or what to bring. In my stupidity, I packed two suitcases, high-heeled boots and a lot of nice clothes. Only as I boarded the plane, I looked around me and understood (or didn’t), what I was doing . . . just like that, in that atmosphere, it was a journey of the unknown and lack of understanding of India, with a lot of adversity and frustration, and then slowly, with ease, I allowed India’s atmosphere to guide me all the way to healing.”
Apart from Birnbaum’s believing community, there are other travellers who asked to take part in the exhibition that carries the theme of a journey in India. All the exhibiting artists have traveled in India during the last few years, and its inspiration led them to what they created. The exhibition is open for the public and some of the art shown is offered for sale. In the program: a celebration of India. Photos, journals, drawings, and as well some snacks based on Indian cuisine.
About the gallery at “Uriel 23”:
The gallery is operated by the “Jews for Jesus” organization as an open house for culture and discussion over spiritual themes and faith, as well for expositions, talks, and more. The workers in the organization say that their doors are open to any person as a way to encourage a community lifestyle in the area where it resides, the heart of the Florentin neighborhood.