Bob Moskin

Arnold and I worked together for the first time (of many) when, in May 1965, Look magazine sent us to Jerusalem to cover the opening of the national Israel Museum. Teddy Koliek produced the museum; this was before he ever became mayor of the city. Arnold and I were to be a team - he would make the pictures; I would write the words.

That was 42 years ago as I write this. But even now I remember vividly the hot mid-day when the museum was dedicated and the workers - carpenters, masons, laborers - were sitting in rows in front of us wearing little folded-paper hats to protect them from the baking sun.

We could not cover the opening of the museum as a news story because Look came out once every two weeks. We needed to be creative. Arnold had the superb idea of building a picture story by taking objects from the museum back to their original sites and telling the story of Judaism through them. And this is what we did. We took a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls back to Masada and a 5th century menorah to the ruined Crusader arches in Caesarea. And Arnold photographed Ben-Gurion holding Israel's declaration of independence in the historic room where he had signed it. You can imagine the persuasion it took to before the museum's curators would allow us to take out these things. But Arnold never compromised.

One day we were out in the desert preparing a picture and Arnold was impatiently plugging in an array of lights to a generator when the connection he was handling shorted. There was a flash and Arnold started hopping around in the desert yelling in pain. For an instant, it was funny; then we realized he was really hurt. We piled him into a Jeep and rushed him miles to a hospital where his burned hand was repaired and soothed. Then, he went back to the site and to work. He never quit.

On another assignment in Israel together, I learned how important composition was to Arnold's magnificent pictures when he wanted to photograph Premier Levi Eshkol and show, not in my words but in his picture, that Eshkol was the leader who had turned the desert green. Arnold found a spot on the edge of desert, actually had a platform built out there, and posed Eshkol so that the bottom half of the picture was desert brown and the upper half fertile green. Words were redundant.

Years later, I met Lynn because I happened to tell Arnold I was looking for a publicist to help me with my latest book and he said had met this able young publicist while taking pictures for Avenue magazine. Five years after that when Lynn and I decided to get married, we wanted to find a suitable rabbi and we had heard good things about a man named Balfour Brickner. So I looked him up in the telephone book and called him and told him what we had in mind. And Balfour said: "Are you the one who did that beautiful story on Judaism in Look?" When I said, yes, I wrote the words, he simply said he would be happy to marry us. And he did. So we have Arnold to thank for suggesting I call Lynn and for photographing the beautiful story back in 1965 that Balfour still remembered in 1986.

Bob Moskin
3/8/07

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