Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

The Torah-A spiritual image for the eyes, brain, heart and soul


Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation's Torah.

Bill Abramson is passionate about his photography. He appreciates and loves the wonders of this world and sees beauty in everything and strives to capture it through his camera's lens.

About one year ago, he began thinking of his "Yiddishkite." Abramson reminisced about his Jewish heritage. "I started to contemplate all that the Lord has done for us," he said. "Restructuring John F. Kennedy's quote, 'Let's not ask what Ha'Shem can do for me, but what I should be doing to make Ha'Shem proud of me.'"

Abramson is a graduate of Hofstra University and The State University of New York at Stony Brook. An expert in mathematics and computer sciences, he is known internationally as a pioneer in CAD/CAM technology. He served in the U.S. Navy and spent 31 years helping to design military aircraft for the Navy, including the F-14 Tomcat. But to him, all this is not relevant. Capturing the beauty in the world is, and he has spent 40 years capturing images with his camera's eye. He has been published, successfully competed in statewide (North Carolina) events, been acknowledged by photographer organizations and has exhibited in a variety of locations (galleries, shows and restaurants).

What area of photography does Abramson specialize in? He will tell you that whatever "warms the cockles of my heart."

So, a year ago, the Torah began to warm his heart and he wanted it "for as much of my life/day as possible."

"I spoke to my rabbi, Rabbi Hillel Skolnick, a man who I have come to admire and a man who has really helped me with my comprehension of Judaism. I asked him for permission to photograph the open Torah, and Rabbi Skolnick gave his consent," he told Heritage.

"I believe the result, which is a 36-inch by 36-inch canvas, is truly inspired," he said of his work. He pointed out the warm colors and the yad lying across the parashah.

Abramson donated the photograph as a gift to Rabbi Skolnick and Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation. He also has a copy hanging prominently in his home, which provides him with inspiration and good feelings. "It motivates to bring Ha'Shem to my mind frequently."

Bill Abramson

Since then, Abramson has received accolades from many people and it is currently hanging in places in Bradenton, Clearwater, Orlando, and Asheville, N.C.

In Abramson's photograph of the Torah, he notes that it is opened to the parashah "Terumah," which translates to "gift" or "offering." Terumah appears in the Book of Exodus. "This parashah contains the Lord's instructions on the building of the Tabernacle, the portable divine dwelling place, and its furnishings," he explained.

The parashah is usually read at the end of February or the beginning of March. Abramson wanted to share this gift of the Torah with the Heritage readers, stating "I hope you have appreciated my experience."

Bill Abramson





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