Danny Elinson
Danny ElinsonArutz Sheva

Following the death of Gershon Elinson, legendary photographer of Gush Etzion, his son Danny Elinson spoke to Israel National News - Arutz Sheva, sharing that for his father, "the commandment to live in the land of Israel was engraved in his heart and soul."

Gershon Elinson passed away on Shabbat, just after he finished quoting a passage from Tehillim (Psalms).

"He was devoted to doing good for others," said Danny about his late father, adding that “the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael was very important to him. He worked in photography out of a sense of mission. Photography was such a part of him and the atmosphere here in Gush Etzion."

He described his father's contribution to the atmosphere in Gush Etzion through the following story. "My mother is a teacher, she asked the students to draw a picture about the exodus from Egypt, all the students brought the pictures to class and in one of the pictures she saw that the boy wrote at the bottom “Gershon Elinson Photography.” She asked the boy why he added that, and he told her, “On all the pictures I see in Gush Etzion, it always says “Gershon Elinson Photography.”

He also revealed his father's part in strengthening the Jewish presence in the Cave of the Patriarchs. "He did some very substantial things besides photography. He put up a mezuzah in the Cave of the Patriarchs. Secondly, he said that at some time they did not want to put chairs in there, so that the prayers would not be permanent. One guy wanted to get married in the Cave of the Patriarchs, so they asked the army for permission to put chairs in. They hired a carpenter and he made very heavy chairs to put in the cave. At the end of the wedding, they tried to move the chairs and couldn’t. To this day, the chairs are there."

Danny recalled an incident in which a terrorist tried to stab his father and Arabs from Hebron, who knew the legendary photographer, were those who came to help him: "They defended him and threw crates of tomatoes at the terrorist and chased him away. This shows how much he was popular not only among the Jews here, but also the Arabs in Hebron."

"The essence of his life was solely to do mitzvot (good deeds), he was not interested in materialistic things and he never left Israel. He wore simple clothing and was only interested in helping others as much as possible. He was devoted to his family and, of course, the mitzvah of living in the Land of Israel was part of his blood and soul," Danny concluded.