18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Mobile
Juggling family, fire, and faith

At an ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding, a friend surprises the couple by juggling fire, adding a dazzling display to the joyous occasion. This mosaic captures that despite their muted clothing colors worn for modesty, each guest is an individual flame. The groom’s grandmother, filming the juggling, sits with her white hair uncovered, starkly different from the other women who wear wigs or hats. She is not from the tight-knit community to which her children and grandchildren belong. She is lovingly given a place of honor and respect despite their differences, showing that at family events, love shines through.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2019
Date Uploaded: 08.2020
Camera: iPhone 6s
Copyright: © Deborah Beth Medows