For Jews in synagogue, the answer is found in the Torah portion. Virtually every vintage collection that we’ve analyzed contains a picture of an Arab farmer in Palestine plowing with a rudimentary plow pulled by an ox and an ass. Why?
We suggest that the photographers, many of whom were well-versed in the Old Testament, focused on agricultural prohibitions found in the Bible. The photographs, slides, and postcards were usually sold to a Bible-reading public.
“Plowing with an ox and an ass” (April, 1929, Torrance Collection, University of Dundee)
The photographers illustrated the prohibition “Thou shall not plow with an ox and an ass together” (Deuteronomy 20) and provided pictures of the prohibition “Thou shall not muzzle an ox in its threshing”(Deuteronomy 25).
The photograph above in the UCR collection went one step further, showing an Arab farmer using his ass and wife to pull the plow.