From The Family Album: Israel

I prepared a different article for today over the weekend, but when I spoke with my cousin in Israel and learned some of her friends ended up among the people held hostage, I didn’t have any motivation to finish my original piece. My cousin was crying and unable to talk and I didn’t know what to say to comfort her. We are not a religious family, but we ended up praying together, wishing for this suffering of innocent people to stop.

Those who have read The Rooster House know that I have family in Israel. My cousin left Ukraine in the early 1990s and eventually my uncle Vladimir, my father’s oldest brother, joined her. Vladimir was a fascinating character who drives the story in my book–and who inspired my interest in photography and Ayurveda. I have shared previously in Boy With a Fotokor how as a bedridden child suffering from the consequences of polio, he experimented taking photos of his surroundings. He created a large archive of images that are the most vivid captures of the Soviet Union in the 1950s.

 Today I would like to share a few images from my trip to Israel when I visited my family and traveled wide across the country.

Thinking about all of the innocent people who are suffering these days. Hope that all of my friends and readers are safe.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Teddy: Thank you. You made the war more real. Will keep you all in my prayers. May your family and friends be safe! October 9, 2023 at 9:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much. October 11, 2023 at 10:01am Reply

  • Perfumelover67: My thoughts and prayers with all the people suffering from this terrible war. Sending hugs, Victoria. October 9, 2023 at 10:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Mine too. So much suffering happening these days, not to forget the recent earthquake in Afghanistan. October 11, 2023 at 10:01am Reply

  • Hamamelis: Too much suffering for so many which will lead to more suffering. Your lovely pictures of normality make even more sad. Thank you for making a mark. October 9, 2023 at 10:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Too much. Reading the news leaves me in tears. October 11, 2023 at 10:02am Reply

  • Limony: Thanks for sharing. I have three nephews in the IDF and I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve found I can’t eat. October 9, 2023 at 10:40am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s very hard for everybody. Much strength to you. October 11, 2023 at 10:03am Reply

  • Diana: Thank you Victoria; What beautiful pictures. Sending love … may peace come to all October 9, 2023 at 10:55am Reply

  • Ayesha Ali: Free Palestine. October 9, 2023 at 10:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Free, peaceful Palestine is my wish too. October 11, 2023 at 10:04am Reply

  • Sarah Vincent-Hoag: Thank you Victoria for the images of your beautiful family and sacred Israel. I’m deeply distressed and sad about what’s happening, it’s like a gut punch. Sending love, saying prayers and hoping that peace and Love prevail. October 9, 2023 at 11:28am Reply

  • Rhinda: Prayers for you and your family. October 9, 2023 at 11:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much. October 11, 2023 at 10:04am Reply

  • WARA: Peace, Beauty, Life!!!!! Muchas gracias dearest Victoria….my heart is broken with SO MUCH violence and suffering in all these wars which are trying to destroy our humanity💔💔💔💔
    At this time of sorrow…again, you continue to give us love and hope through your writing, sharing, photos. Sending you light and love!!!! October 9, 2023 at 1:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: Much love to you too. October 11, 2023 at 10:04am Reply

  • Old Herbaceous: Dreadful. I pray for the safe return of the captives, and for peace in Israel and Ukraine. October 9, 2023 at 2:22pm Reply

  • Fazal Cheema: I hate wars, it is always the innocent people who die on both sides. As far as I am concerned, Hamas, Hezbullah, and Israel’s Likud Party and its allies can all go to hell. In the end, these in power only care about their own agendas. October 9, 2023 at 2:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: I completely agree with you. October 10, 2023 at 2:25am Reply

  • Gabriela: So much sadness in the world. May we find peace, one day.
    Thank you for sharing, and caring. October 9, 2023 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Lynn Marie: Thank you for sharing your personal story at this difficult and very sad time. October 9, 2023 at 7:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for visiting and reading. October 11, 2023 at 10:05am Reply

  • Ghada Hannoush: I am against killing civilian people whoever they are, but it is really striking my attention that it never happen to be mentioned that Gaza people and Palestinians get bombed, sieged, and brutally killed all the past years and until this moment, and nobody ever care for them…What an unfair world…
    Prayers for the entire world..
    Salam (Peace) October 10, 2023 at 2:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, this is tragic on many levels. Unfortunately, the situation for ordinary Palestinian people will only get worse. It’s a good moment to get involved and contribute. I highly recommend and support the group called Green Olive Collective. They do various activities, including online events, and support artists and writers: October 10, 2023 at 2:25am Reply

  • Madina perfumes: Your blog offers a heartfelt glimpse into a personal journey. It’s a touching tribute to family bonds and the beauty of Israel. Thanks for sharing these cherished memories! October 10, 2023 at 2:34am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for your kind words! October 11, 2023 at 10:05am Reply

  • Becky R Orsini: I also appreciate you’re sharing! And pray for peace everywhere! October 10, 2023 at 4:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: All of you are such a comfort these days. October 11, 2023 at 10:06am Reply

  • shiva-woman: I am so sorry for all the events that have lead up to this event, for both Palestinians and Israelis. The situation has been a festering one for decades, and then the bombs and rockets fly, no solution at all. Your pictures are just beautiful, so peaceful, colorful, and rich. I read your recent book, The Rooster House and have passed it around; it explains complexities which many in America may not grasp, and I think in some ways there are similar complexities in the Middle East. Thank you for updating us and including the lovely picture of you and your cousin and your uncle Vladamir. You are so talented! October 10, 2023 at 10:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for your warm comment. My uncle is a fascinating character, as you now know. Difficult, but fascinating. And inspiring in his fortitude. He’s almost immobile these days, but he still manages to read, learn and discover new things. October 11, 2023 at 10:07am Reply

  • Aurora: Thank you, Victoria, it’s such a touching tribute to your family, so nice to see your uncle Vladimir, such a character in your book, he looks sprightly, just as I imagined him. So sad this part of the world knows no peace. My heart goes to both Israelis and Palestinians caught in the conflict. October 11, 2023 at 10:11am Reply

    • Victoria: My heart goes out to both too. It’s just too tragic, too heartbreaking, too terrifying to follow the recent events. October 11, 2023 at 10:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Btw, Vladimir was being true to himself in this photo, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Soviet symbol. My cousin and I just ignored him, even though he was really trying to provoke us. October 11, 2023 at 10:19am Reply

      • Aurora: 😃 You brought his character to life so well in The Rooster House, he’s unlikely to change now. October 15, 2023 at 9:32am Reply

  • Maria Perry: Dear Victoria,

    Thank you for sharing all these personal photos and moments. They bring color to an otherwise bleak world these days…
    I don’t comment enough but I do read all your posts, have read your book very enthusiastically and plan on gifting it to several friends. I live in Berlin and was happy to read that you will pass by in your book tour. I sure hope I’m able to attend!

    Everyday I pray for peace everywhere…my heart goes out to the millions of children whose lives are forever changed and damaged by these conflicts. October 12, 2023 at 6:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for your kind words. I hope that I can meet you in Berlin. October 16, 2023 at 9:49am Reply

  • Muzo: Such a pity for all those who lost their life in such a way in 21 th century.To have a real peace everyone should be sure of his life.But unfortunately all that humanities progress can not prevent us to live in a second Middle Age.And it gets worse and worse October 13, 2023 at 9:13am Reply

    • Victoria: So true. It’s too tragic. October 16, 2023 at 9:49am Reply

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