A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. As we look into ArtScroll’s newly-released Great Jewish Photographs, we can clearly see how effective images can be in enhancing the reading experience. Photos touch the heart and mind in an incomparably direct and powerful way.
In Great Jewish Photographs, Rabbi Moshe Bamberger has collected 100 black and white and color photographs of Torah luminaries, learning, praying, laughing, crying, giving blessings and encouragement, and, of course, sharing their immense Torah knowledge. Some photos are iconic, others have been rarely seen. Some tell a story, others capture vital moments in recent history – and all of them touch our hearts and souls.
A remarkable picture of Rav Hutner learning, while he is being held hostage by terrorists on an aircraft, teaches us the power of Torah study in a way that, yes, a thousand words cannot. Gaze at the picture of the Chafetz Chaim davening in tallis and tefilin; your own prayers will be different, deeper. The Kanievsky’s were on the way to a bris when their car got a flat tire; the photo of them standing at the side of the road, Rav Chaim staring into his sefer and Rebbetzin Batsheva into her Tehilim, is both a delight and a mussar lesson!
The vignettes and biographical information that accompany each photograph add still another dimension to Great Jewish Photographs. You’ll smile at the adorable picture of Rav Shimon Schwab and his brothers, taken when he was a youngster. But then you will read how Rav Schwab took the lesson he learned at the age of four from that photo shoot and cherished it all his life, and you’ll have learned something of great value. Rav Avigdor Miller’s smile, Rav Chaim Shmulevitz’s tears, Rav Shach’s laughter: so many emotions that touch us — and teach us.
Great Jewish Photographs is a compact size, full-color paperback volume. It includes Birchas Hamazon and the berachos of bris and shevah berachos and has room for imprinting on the back, making it an ideal gift for personal simchahs and institutional events.