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Israel: Over 8 million faces and counting

More than 8 million of them -- each unique, each a reflection of the divine

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.

Photo by Yaniv Golan
Photo by Yaniv Golan


Photo by Yaniv Golan



Photo by Yaniv Golan


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There are faces as dark as obsidian

Photo by Yaniv Golan



And others as light like alabaster.

Photo by Yaniv Golan
Photo by Yaniv Golan

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.

A shop keeper sits across from his shop in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Photo by Sarah Tuttle-Singer


There are faces that wear colorful scarves.

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Photo by Laura Ben-David


There are faces that wear wigs.
There are faces that wear turbans.
There are faces that wear habits.

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There are faces that wear yarmulkes.
There are faces that fezzes.

There are faces that wear berets.

Photo by Laura Ben-David
Photo by Laura Ben-David



There are faces that wear nothing at all except two eyes, a nose, and a smile.

Photo by Yaniv Golan


(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.

Photo by Yaniv Golan
Photo by Yaniv Golan

There are somber faces and silly faces — some even wear clowns noses on their faces.

There is no face of Israel.

There is my face;

And her face.

Photo by Yaniv Golan


And his face.

Photo by Yaniv Golan

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.

An angel plays the harp just inside of Jaffa Gate. Photo by Sarah Tuttle-Singer

Thank you thank you THANK YOU Yaniv Golan for your exquisite photos.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Times of Israel's New Media editor, lives in Israel with her two kids in a village next to rolling fields. Sarah likes taking pictures, climbing roofs, and talking to strangers. She is the author of the book Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered. Sarah is a work in progress.
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