The holiday of the trees…celebrated as only it can be…in Eretz Yisrael!!
I want the memory of this TuB’Shevat to stay with me for a long time, so I’m not so sure whether I wish to completely wash out the soil from my finger tips – just yet!
Our energetic CAARI group was taken to the rocky hills of Modiin, somewhere between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the early morning of January 29 (Friday). These hills were designated for forest development by the JNF–KKL. We were decked out in our uniforms of tee shirts, sweatshirts and hats adorned with the symbol of JNF–KKL.
After proudly planting our own little saplings, we were given plastic containers that held dozens of saplings of pine and cedar. Those would be restocked for us throughout the day. Young teen volunteers joined us and were assigned the job of distributing these ‘future trees’ to all who would come. AND COME THEY DID!
People arrived by the thousands…to celebrate the holiday of the trees and to connect with this land and with nature. Cars, vans, buses were bumper to bumper…hundreds and hundreds of families …children of all ages…fathers carrying their little ones…many expectant mothers holding the hands of sons and daughters…grandparents…cameras…picnic gear! It was a constant flow of happy and proud people.
“Chag Sameach” and “Kol ha Kavod” could be heard throughout the warm, sunny spring day.
Upwards and outwards, into the uneven rocky earth they all went..carrying their saplings of ‘brosh‘ and ‘oren‘…to find the little flags that designated locations for planting.
It was truly a sight to behold, it was a TuB’Shevat celebration seen only in Israel! We, of the CAARI “family”, were privileged to have taken part in this glorious day…a day where we were “hands on” toward creating a future forest for the land and people of our beloved Israel!