Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wander : לנדוד

In the summer of 2009, I traveled to Northern India to find the legacy of a book written in a language I don't understand. I hoped to find a culture within a culture as well as answer my own personal set of questions regarding religion, travel and their ability to permeate and stretch the venturing heart.

This is very much just the beginning of a work in progress.



In 1954 Azriel Carlebach, a respected Jewish journalist traveled to India producing the first Hebrew book on India. Published in 1956, the instant best-seller; India: An Account of Voyage, was to early Israeli travelers a scripture. The odd yet tragically romantic destiny of the book's publishing added to the reverence it continues to garner. After returning from India, Carlebach, according to his secretary at the time,

"shut himself up in the Dan Hotel and from there he sent us his typewritten pages, ready for the printing press. I watched, with thirst and surprise, the birth of the book. He was driven to write the book by a powerful inner force, in a creative endeavor that was almost compulsive. Two months later he was dead, at 48. He left a widow,a daughter,and an orphaned newspaper, and this book - a creative outburst of the greatest journalist who wrote in Hebrew."

Adventurers traveled the country inspired by Carlebach's book, often following their stressful mandatory service in the Israeli military. This Israeli “Passage to India” continues as both dream and destiny for thousands of Israelis each year.

Today, signs and menus are written in Hebrew across Northern India and nomadic groups of both secular and religious Israelis congregate in tiny villages every Shabbat for food, prayer, or company.

Although the current generation of Israelis in India might have little knowledge of the book, their experience is spun of a uniting thread started by Carlebach, weaving together the soft malleable secrets that India reserves for those who wander.

5 comments:

Nell said...

im so excited you were in northern india! i spent six months there myself for school, but i never knew the jewish religion existed within the hindu religion, or even in that area of india! whereabouts were you?

Mike Terry said...

I was primarily in Manali, which is in Himachal Pradesh. Then on to Kasol and Khirganga. It was unfortunately too short a trip but very interesting. 6 months out there must have been nice. where were you?

魏江伶魏江伶 said...

良好的開端,已是成功的一半。..................................................

Maddie Townsend said...

I've been watching your blog for a while and I love your loose and realistic captures. I love analyzing your compositions and playing with the same ideas when I shoot pictures.
I have one random question...I love the slideshow feature you use on these posts and would like to incorporate it (or something similar) in my own travel blog I am starting. Could you point me in the right direction?
Thanks a lot! I look forward to seeing more of your work soon.

Levi P said...

Wow! Mike good to see you pictures, This is Rabbi Levi, the one holding the phone organizing the search parties while in middle of the morning prayers. I would like it made known for the people seeing these pictures that Mike spent a couple days with us living in horrible conditions looking for this lost Israeli, many of the pictures are of that period, Thank you Mike