Sara Wolkenfeld, Sefaria, in Collaboration with Zion Ozeri

The Jewish Lens: The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot Museum

The Covenant Foundation

Twilight Mincha, Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel 1984 Photograph, Zion Ozeri

What details do you notice about the photograph?

What is the body language of the man in the photograph reveal?

What does the title of the photograph, “Twilight Mincha” tell us?

How do you think it might feel to be the person in this image?

What does “sanctuary” mean to you? What would you capture in your own environment, which expresses the essential quality of this time?

Please take a photograph which reflects “Sanctuary” to you. Please add a title, including location and date, as well as your own short caption/midrash. Please post to the Facebook page, and also to this sheet in edit mode, by clicking the small down arrow next to the title, and clicking "edit"

Then, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the plus button, or use the "insert" menu in the upper left. Use "media" and "upload" to upload a photo, and use "comment" and "add to sheet" to add your caption. Thank you!

Sanctuary is defined as a place of refuge or safety. The texts below present two different perspectives on what it means to create a space that is special, safe, and set aside.

When Moses is sent to rescue the People of Israel, his first task is to free them from an oppressive regime. From the very beginning, however, the ultimate goal is to guide the people to the Promised Land, as described below.

(ח) וָאֵרֵ֞ד לְהַצִּיל֣וֹ ׀ מִיַּ֣ד מִצְרַ֗יִם וּֽלְהַעֲלֹתוֹ֮ מִן־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַהִוא֒ אֶל־אֶ֤רֶץ טוֹבָה֙ וּרְחָבָ֔ה אֶל־אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָ֑שׁ אֶל־מְק֤וֹם הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ וְהַ֣חִתִּ֔י וְהָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ וְהַפְּרִזִּ֔י וְהַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי׃

(8) I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the region of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Although the People of Israel are free once they escape the reach of Pharoah, safety and security are achieved only when they reach this land. The journey is long and hard, yet the promise of a land "flowing with milk and honey" remains a part of the story throughout their travels in the desert.


What image of the land is evoked by this verse? What is special about the place to which they are traveling, as you imagine it?

Is there any aspect of the image above that is reflected in this verse?

Think of a time when you wanted to travel - or did travel - to a place that would serve as a sanctuary for you. What was special about that place? What did the journey feel like?

After the People of Israel left Egypt, they are tasked with constructing a traveling sanctuary, a space in which to communicate with the Divine. Here is how God describes the project:

וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃
And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.

Unlike the long journey to the promised land, this sanctuary, called the Mishkan, is constructed in the desert, and is designed to be used throughout the voyage. It is built to be highly portable so it can be taken apart, moved, and put back together with ease. This is a space for the Divine to be present among the people.


How do you imagine this sanctuary? Based on the verse, what will be special about it?

Is there any aspect of the image above that is reflected in this verse?

Think of a space that has served as a sanctuary in your life. Is it fixed or portable? What defines the space?