The editor of the Humans of Jerusalem Facebook page says he’s been flooded with attention and positive feedback after posting a photo he took of a religious Israeli soldier soothing his baby in a sling even as was balancing his military-issue rifle on his leg.
Simcha Jessel, the photographer and citizen journalist who posts images of different slices of life in the Israeli capital city, told TheBlaze that he took the photo of the soldier last week near a pizza shop in downtown Jerusalem.
“I was finishing my pie, and I saw him there,” Jessel said. “I came over and said, ‘I love everything going on over here. Can I please take a picture of you?’ He said, ‘Sure!’”
Jessel said that the redheaded soldier, whom he identified only as Nathan, was holding the baby while his wife had stepped away for a bit. The baby girl is named Gal Einai, which translates loosely to “open my eyes” or “reveal to my eyes.”
Nathan is currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces with a religious battalion called “Netzach Yehuda” which means “Eternity of Judah.”
Outside of his military service, he enjoys playing guitar — as indicated by the guitar case visible in the photo.
“He’s also a wicked drummer,” Jessel said.
The family lives in a Jewish community in Judea called Bat Ayin.
Jessel, 22, said that he just completed his mandatory service in the IDF, and now he walks around Jerusalem to “talk to people and capture their story alongside a picture.”
The photographer explained that unlike in the U.S. military, in Israel combat soldiers often come home a few times a month “and when you’re married with children, you get to go home even more often.”
Check out more of Jessel’s work from the Holy Land at this link.