Joshua Hammerman
Rabbi, author and award winning journalist
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PHOTO ESSAY: The world through the eyes of children

A story of hope and resilience and innocence reclaimed
Narlai, India
Narlai, India

A midrash asks:

“Why do young children commence [the study of Torah] with the Book of Leviticus [the Laws of the Priests], and not with the [Book of] Genesis? Surely it is because young children are pure, and the korbanot (offerings) are pure; so let the pure come and engage in the study of the pure.”

“Therefore, when the children study, “God says, “I consider it as if they are bringing the offerings before Me. Though the Temple was destroyed and offerings are not brought there anymore, were it not for the children learning about the sacrificial laws, the world would not stand.”

If not for the innocence of children, the rabbis are telling us, civilization would be unsustainable.

With all the strife that exists in our world, my recent travels to many places have convinced me, more than ever, that beneath it all we’re all the same. Over the past couple of years, abroad and at home, my camera’s eye tried to look at the world through the eyes of a child. And we see that most of all with children.

Today there are 2.2 billion children in the world. Nearly two billion of these live in developing countries. The vast majority are in desperate need of healthcare, water, food and education. Others need our protection from traffickers, drugs, violent neighborhoods, school shootings, abusive adults who betray a sacred trust, border patrols who rip them from their parents, corrupt autocrats who rip them from their villages, and abusive parents who breed desperation and hopelessness.

This year I looked at the world through the eyes of children. I saw a different story, a story of hope and resilience and innocence reclaimed. I saw it in their faces. These are the trusting, happy, loving, vulnerable faces of children.

Here is a photo essay: Children of the World. See the online album here.

Safed, Israel
Narlai, India
Bangkok, Thailand
Dhulikhel, Nepal
Jerusalem, Israel
Sacred Valley, Peru
Near Bangkok, Thailand
Java, Indonesia
Mumbai, India
Jerusalem, Israel
Auschwitz, Poland
Mumbai, India
Prague, Czech Republic
Le Croisic, France
Jerusalem, Israel
Siem Reap, Cambodia (Angkor Wat)
Java, Indonesia
Hanoi, Vietnam
Sacred Valley, Peru
Jerusalem, Israel
Le Croisic, France
Mumbai, India
Mumbai, India
Warsaw, Poland
Tel Aviv, Israel (Rabin Memorial)
Delhi, India
Kathmandu, Nepal
Lod, Israel
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Killing Fields Memorial)
Warsaw, Poland (Korczak Orphanage Memorial)
Jerusalem,Israel
Bangkok, Thailand
Northern Thailand
Borneo, Indonesia
About the Author
Award-winning journalist, father, husband, son, friend, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and rabbi of Temple Beth El in Stamford, CT. Author of forthcoming book, Mensch-Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi – Wisdom for Untethered Times (HCI Books)
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