There is no “face of Israel.”
There are more than eight million faces of Israel.
Right now there are 8,412,000 faces of Israel.
And that number is growing. Always growing.
There are brown faces and pink faces, and golden faces, too.
There are faces as dark as obsidian
And others as light like alabaster.
There are bearded faces and mustached faces and veiled faces and faces with eyebrow rings or hoops in their noses.
There are faces that wear black hats and side locks.
There are faces that wear keffiyehs.
There are faces that wear colorful scarves.
There are faces that wear wigs.
There are faces that wear turbans.
There are faces that wear habits.
There are faces that wear yarmulkes.
There are faces that fezzes.
There are faces that wear berets.
There are faces that wear nothing at all except two eyes, a nose, and a smile.
(And maybe a pair of earrings)
There are soft faces and weathered faces, faces red and squinched he’d from being born, faces grey and slackened with a last breath.
There are blemished faces and freckled faces, faces with pock marks, faces with scars.
There are faces with bruises beneath their eyes.
And faces with one side fallen.
There are faces with jaws clenched and faces with wide grins. And sometimes they switch places these faces because moods shift.
There is no face of Israel.
And her face.
And his face.
And your face.
* * * *
There are as many faces as there are people — 8,412,000 and growing. And each face has its ugly moments. Because faces do some times. Scorn. Anger. Baseless hate. We’ve felt these things — they’re all too human — and so have our faces. And it shows.
But mostly each face is simply beautiful with each difference, perfect with each imperfection, a reflection of our hopes and fears,
our possibility and potential. Each face of Israel — in repose or in expression, with a laugh or while weeping, each face is its own — and perfect: A reflection of the divine within all of us.
Thank you thank you THANK YOU Yaniv Golan for your exquisite photos.