Created in partnership with Josh Feinberg and Sara Wolkenfeld
Amiaz Plains, Israel, 2002 © Zion Ozeri
What adjectives would you use to describe this photograph?
The photographer opted to include no people or human-made objects in this picture. Why might he have made this choice? What is the effect of this decision?
The Haggadah text speaks of the mountains dancing like rams. Do these mountains look like they might dance? Why or why not?
What could it mean for mountains to dance? Looking at this photograph, how do you understand the metaphor of dancing mountains? What might the Psalmist have intended by using this poetic imagery?
For Further Reflection:
Early Jewish literature is filled with poetic descriptions of mountains, bodies of water, and other natural wonders. Elsewhere in the book of Psalms, you can find images of rivers clapping their hands and mountains singing, oceans roaring with joy, and trees singing. What parts of nature do you think evoke the greatest joy? What other emotions do you associate with nature? When and how do you experience them?
- The images of mountains running and dancing and the sea fleeing evoke a world of nature that celebrates the miracle of the exodus. The rabbis of the Talmud claim that the very existence of the world was dependent on the Jewish people accepting the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Every part of nature was sensitive to our progress towards that destiny. Have you ever experienced a moment when it felt like the whole world should celebrate or mourn with you?
Tell Your Own Story:
Take a picture with this question in mind: What aspects of nature do you find most awe inspiring? What encounters with nature feel most spiritually inspiring? After you take your photo, give it a caption. You can find some helpful photography tips here.