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Article: A Ritual Mosaic of Israel

צייד טקסים בארץ הקודש

A Ritual Mosaic of Israel

Elchanan Reiner

Dan “Danchu” Arnon (b. 1935) is responsible for one of the most distinctive, colorful, and diverse collections in the National Library, consisting of photographs he has taken of the entire spectrum of ceremonies, both religious and secular, in Israel. The Danchu Arnon Collection documents the yearly cycle as reflected in hundreds of different ceremonies taking place in synagogues, churches, and mosques as well as on the street, in the market, in the field, and at home. The collection captures ritual life in Israel: a unique, elusive, ephemeral aspect of religious and secular culture among Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Ritual is almost impossible to preserve in written texts. It is passed down orally from generation to generation, changing and developing over time. During his decades of work as a “hunter” of ceremonies, Arnon has followed such rituals with determination and perseverance.