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2-Fight terror by planting trees in Israel
Biblical Commandment Comes to Life After 2,000 Years in Renewal of the Land of Israel
“The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the trees of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9)
In tradition handed down through Judaism, trees have become linked to the overall understanding of the messianic redemption and have therefore become an essential part of the messianic process.
In an 8th century collection of Midrashic Jewish literature called Avot DeRabbi Natan, the mundane chore of planting a tree is raised up to a status greater than greeting the Messiah.
“[Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai] used to say, ‘If while holding a sapling in your hand you are told that the Messiah is about to arrive, first plant the sapling and then go out to receive the Messiah’.” (Chapter 31)
In the Biblical commentary the Gemara (Sanhedrin 98a), it is written that when the Land of Israel gives forth fruit abundantly, it is a sure sign that the redemption is coming.
God teaches the importance of this idea through example. The first thing God did when creating the world was establish a garden, and as soon as there was dry land he began planting trees (Genesis 2:9). To emulate His act of creation, the Bible gives a commandment to plant trees when we enter the Land of Israel (Leviticus 19:23).
In Biblical Israel, trees were a part of family life. An ancient Jewish custom currently making a comeback is to plant a tree when a child is born: a cedar for boys, with the wish that the child will grow to resemble the tall and upright cedar tree, and a cypress for girls, with the hope that the girls will be graceful and fragrant like the cypress tree. Later in their lives, the branches from the cypress and cedar of a bride and groom are used to make the chuppah (canopy) for their wedding ceremony.
The messianic vision of the Jews’ return to their homeland, therefore, necessarily includes reforestation. It is a massive effort fueled by the simple desire to plant trees in Israel.
Today, – ‘When you come to the land you shall plant trees’ (Leviticus 19:23).”
“Upon entering the land of Israel in Biblical times, we planted trees. The Torah compares man to a tree “כי האדם עץ השדה” – ‘For man is a tree of the field.’ (Deuteronomy 20:19),” he explained. “Planting a tree is symbolic of planting our Jewish roots in the Land of Israel.”
The trees represent one's presence in the land.
“When you honor someone by planting a tree on their behalf, you create a living memorial for them in the land of Israel,”
By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz