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What’s On Her Mind?

I took this photo last July at the Jaffa Gate outside the Old City of Jerusalem. I’ve wanted to post it, but I needed to rework the face in Photoshop so her face is no longer recognizable.

Why is she looking up, but holding the prayer book in her hand? Is it a book of Tehillim (Psalms)? What is distracting her?

Lorri says

What an absolutely beautiful photograph, Leora! It is so expressive, and so filled with mood. You really caught her in a moment so pensive.

Lion of Zion says

ditto to lorri, although does your photoshoping preserve her original expression?

"What is distracting her?"

an american tourist snapping a picture of her? :)

Leora says

LoZ, the expression is the same, but I made her face thinner and nose longer.

She might be watching all the traffic driving into the Old City.

Ilana-Davita says

Maybe she is thinking about the person she is saying Tehilim for.

Mrs. S. says

To me it seems as if she's waiting for someone or something (maybe a bus?), and while she's waiting, she decided to make good use of her time by reciting some Tehillim.

If it was me, I would spend the time people watching. There's no better place for doing that than in the Old City.

And as a matter of fact, it looks like she has perhaps managed to combine Tehillim and people-watching!

Baila says


It is a really good picture. I have a hard time photographing people because I am always afraid I will offend them, or worse, make them angry. Did she know she was being photographed?

Assuming she was unaware of being photographed why did you change her face? Is there a legal or ethical reason?

As far as your question about what's on her mind, her body language doesn't lead me to believe that she is upset about an ill loved one. I agree with Mes. S., she probably carries her tehilim with her and uses it when she finds she has a free moment, even as she knows there will be a certain amount of distraction.

Leora says

Baila, glad you like the photo. I guess I change it for ethical reasons; if I were her, I would not want to be the focus of a blog discussion.

There was so much going on there I doubt she noticed I took her picture.

Michelle says

She looks pensive, but I don't know if that is because you changed her face....

soccer dad says

If she's used to saying Tehillim, she might well be on "auto-pilot," so she doesn't need to read every word.

The Jewish Side says

Great Photoshop work. Her face looks very white though, was she pale before too?

It's cool how you captured the shot, it's like you got her frozen like a statue.

I do wonder what caught her attention...Did you get to see because you were there when you took the picture? or you didn't realize she was looking elsewhere till after you took the picture?

Maybe she's just thinking about something and has a staring off to space kind of look.


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