Posts Tagged: Los Angeles International Airport

25 Days in Tokyo—Zero day at LAX

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs. This series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching person or scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries.

It’s been a year to the day since I last traveled to Tokyo, and I should mention the rabbi. While waiting at LAX to board my Delta flight to Haneda I saw this beautifully-frumpy old man wearing a yarmulke. I was pretty sure what he was, so I left my place in the boarding queue to approach him.

I said “Are you a rabbi?”

“Yes,” he said.

“May I photograph you?”

He said nothing, but lifted his arms up wide in a gesture of acceptance and agreement.


I shot a couple of pictures of him. When he saw I was finished he asked me if I was Jewish.

“No, rabbi, but I respect your faith.”

“Respect is enough,” he said, then added “I am eighty-one years old.”

I didn’t respond, but his words made me wish my own father had lived that long.

By then the Delta staff were about to close the departure gate, so I left the rabbi sitting where he was and hoped he realized I wasn’t rude but just late. But rabbis that old probably have more patience than the god they worship.

(Terminal 5, Los Angeles International Airport 2015)