UPDATE: Sderot rocketed repeatedly overnight by missiles fired by Palestinian terrorists in Islamist Hamas Gaza. The continuing assault has not even made the mainstream Israeli news. The IDF, as usual, has done nothing to stop the attacks.
Tu Bishvat began at sundown last night (Tuesday) in Israel and continues through sundown tonight (Wednesday). It is a holiday to celebrate the Earth, and tradition calls on all Jews to eat a copious amount of fruits and nuts. There is also a tradition to plant something–literally anything–such as flowers, bushes, or trees.
For example, this year Tel Aviv’s Beautification Division supplied 30,000 seedlings (including potted herbs, vegetables, shrubs, and small trees) to community gardens, schools and other institutions throughout the city for planting today. These seedlings will be planted by students in kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior and senior high schools as well as volunteers at community centers.
Your humble servant has always had a special affinity for trees and is in great admiration for what different Israeli organizations have done to establish forests all over the country. For example, the Jewish National Fund has a Tu Bishvat offer today that for every tree that you plant in Israel, you will be entered in a raffle to win two round trip El Al tickets to Israel (click here). Another website through which you can order a tree to be planted in Israel is “Trees For the Holy Land“.
Since 1900, almost 250,000,000 trees have been planted in all regions of Israel from the Golan and Galilee in the north to the Negev in the south.
Here is a picture of the same Kibbutz Beeri today:
The Zionist reforestation of Israel–after centuries of Arabic denuding the land of trees, shrubs, and plants–is one of the greatest and most underpublicized environmental success stories on the planet. Israel is the only country in the world that ended the 20th century with more trees than it had in the year 1900.
What have you done for Israel today? How about planting a tree?
Hag Sameach (Happy Holiday)! Happy Tu Bishvat!
THIS DATE IN ISRAELI HISTORY:
On February 8, 2002, four Palestinian terrorists (aged 14-16) stabbed Moranne Amit (25) of Kibbutz Kfar Hanasi to death as she was strolling on the Sherover Promenade in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood on a lovely Friday afternoon.
On February 8, 2005, Palestinian PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared a truce to end four years of Middle East violence.
That truce lasted for about 5 seconds–as does every truce with the Palestinians such as the one supposedly in place now (note the israelstreet breaking news today).