T he prison walls towered over the public square. Yuri Brenner shuffled beside his donkey down the crowded street in front of the imposing building. Guards patrolling the top of the wall showed little or no interest in the pedestrians below on their way to the outdoor market. 

Directly across from the prison were old wooden park benches. Yehudit found an unoccupied spot among the poorest women who gathered there daily to display whatever merchandise they had to sell. She placed her basket of rags on the ground in front of her feet and waited. Few passersby were interested in the wares displayed, but some tossed a few coins in their direction out of pity. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the long, loose-fitting garments worn by the women became uncomfortably warm. 

The women occupied themselves with gossip, recipes, and complaints. “You’re new here,” one addressed Yehudit curiously. “What’s your name? Where are you from?” 

Yehudit returned her gaze but only giggled without answering the questions. She covered her face with her spread fingers and rocked back and forth, humming. “Poor thing,” they whispered among themselves before losing interest. 

Yehudit played her role convincingly. By noon the others accepted her as someone not quite normal and they left her alone. Meanwhile, her photographic memory recorded every detail of what was happening. The guards changed shifts. New prisoners were brought in, expressions of terror or hopelessness on their faces. From time to time government officials entered the gate and she noted when they came out again. 

In the late afternoon, Yuri Brenner led his donkey to a place in the shadow of the prison wall. He sat in the dust with his one leg stretched straight ahead, bowed his head, and appeared to doze. 

Yehudit and Brenner were expecting Yossi Levine to show up. At last he appeared, strolling down the middle of the road as if he owned it. The expensive camera hanging from Levine’s shoulder was the bait intended to get him inside the notorious Evin Prison. 

Not far from the women on the benches, Yossi unscrewed the cap from his camera. Slowly and deliberately he changed the lens from a regular one to a telescopic lens. Adjusting the focus, he photographed the colorful stands of fresh fruits and vegetables. Turning clockwise, Levine pointed the camera toward the women who shrieked in mortification and scrambled over each other to get out of his view. Only Yehudit remained on the bench, rocking and murmuring softly to herself as if totally unaware of her surroundings. 

After Levine snapped a few pictures of the beggar and his donkey, he aimed the camera at the entrance to the Evin complex. Within seconds both gates opened wide and prison guards poured into the street.