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Contrast Is Not Always Where You Expect It (Weekly photo challenge part 2)

March 15, 2012

The challenge of photographic contrast is interesting because there are so many places a person can look for contrast. My first reaction was to look for contrast between light and dark and then colors, which I did here, but I also found contrast in the picture below of an old Minneapolis synagogue.

Minneapolis’ north side was home to the city’s Jewish population from around the mid-1800’s until the mid to late 1960’s. White flight saw the area’s residents leave the city for the newly developed suburbs and their newer and larger homes. While the people left and the neighborhood changed, the buildings remained behind. The building in my picture is Mikro Kodesh synagogue which was built in 1926 and closed in about 1969 with the departure of the area’s Jewish population. The synagogue was eventually converted to a church (sorry, but I don’t know the year or the name of the church) and the picture below shows how the building looks today. Or how it looked last Sunday, but I don’t think much has changed in the last few days.

The contrast in the picture for me is the representation of the two religions still evident on the surfaces of the building. You can see across the top of the arch the words, “Jesus is Lord” and there are crosses on top of the two domes on the right and left of the building. But also in view is the name, “Mikro Kodesh”, along with a number of Stars of David mounted on top of the building below the crosses, as well as etched into the front of the building above the doors. Also visible, and what I think is most unique about the façade, is a sculpture of the Lions of Judah guarding the Ten Commandments directly below the “Jesus is Lord” verbiage with the Hebrew spelling of the synagogue’s name.

This has nothing to do with contrast, but architecturally I think the building’s façade is interesting. If you look just at the section making up the three maroon doors, the name, and the Lions of Judah, it almost seems to resemble another building to me and I wonder if it’s not a representation of smaller synagogue that was left back in Russia.

Two contrasting religions sharing space on a building with no apparent problems besides some weather damage. Would that the world could survive together as well, huh?

There is one sad note to share about the picture. If you look at the maroon door at street level in the lower right-hand corner you’ll see a small square that looks like it might have been a cornerstone at one time. Zoom in on that section if you can and you’ll see the faded remains of a swastika that someone had spray painted there and that was subsequently, although unfortunately not quite, whitewashed out.

Mikro Kodesh Synagogue

Mikro Kodesh Synagogue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Back to contrasts between light and dark and colors and one last picture for the prompt. Prizes to anyone who can guess what this is!

What the heck is this?

What the heck is this?!

Any guesses? Big prizes await! Need a hint? How about… unleavened dough?Or who cut the cheese?Or ‘human hinge’?  Thanks for reading!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Rebekah permalink
    March 15, 2012 3:27 pm

    This was a great take on «contrast». I scrolled down, and looked at the picture before reading the article … boy, was I ever intrigued 🙂

    The big, former, Synagogue here is vacant now. There are only thirthy, Jewish families here, so they have moved it to a much smaller place that also serves as a museum at the same time…


  2. March 15, 2012 8:57 pm

    I like the unique take on Contrast. 🙂


  3. Sonel permalink
    March 15, 2012 10:25 pm

    Great entry Michael and I have no idea what the last picture could be. Now stop keeping us in suspense! hehehehe


  4. March 16, 2012 12:22 am

    The second picture looks like leftover mac and cheese that has been sliced and heated until the cheese browned (?burned?).


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 18, 2012 3:30 pm

      I’d call that close enough to be a winner! It’s actually macaroni that was overboiled until the water evaportated and then it burned onto the bottom of the pan. Good guesswork, Celt!


  5. Pamela D Hart permalink
    March 16, 2012 9:27 pm

    Michael, wow, great pictures!

    Okay, is the second picture pizza?

    And how are you feeling? I hope much better!


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 18, 2012 7:05 am

      Hi Pamela! No, it’s not pizza. I’m much better although it was a weird cold. After it left my head it moved down into my neck and first my left gland got all swollen and sore and then that got better and the right one got swollen and sore. Thank you for asking! 🙂


  6. janesinfinitewisdom permalink
    March 23, 2012 9:35 pm

    I love how your mind works. What a fabulous take on contrast (and I am so appalled and saddened by the swastika).


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 24, 2012 4:58 am

      The swastika is horrible and it makes no sense since the building hasn’t been a synagogue for over 40 years. What goes through the minds of people like that?


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