“Chasid in the Woods,” is a portrait of me, naked in the wood of Nebraska, with a six-month beard, pais curls hanging down the sides of my face, and a typical Orthodox Jewish hat. Held over my genitals is a book that alludes to a religious text. Upon moving to Nebraska, I had also noticed that my identity, in particular my Jewishness, was more pronounced here. It made me feel a bit guarded like I was perhaps playing a role. I was also aware that anti-Semitism and xenophobia were on the rise worldwide. Since the Holocaust, Jews were finally living in a relative state of peace—we even had a Homeland. I began to wonder if things were about to change politically. I felt like a Jew alone in the woods.
charley friedman, copyright