Rooted In Israel’s History, Five Remarkable Trees
Tales of timber, from the cedars outside the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem, to the 600-year-old oak at the tomb of Rabbi Yosef Abba Halafta in the Galilee.
‘One day Honi Hameagel, a righteous miracle worker, saw an old man planting a carob tree. Knowing that a carob tree took 70 years to bear fruit, and that therefore the old man would not live to see the results of his labor, he asked why he was planting a tree whose fruits he would never enjoy. ‘Carob trees were here when I was born, planted by my father and his father,’ answered the old man. ‘Now I plant trees for the enjoyment of my children and their children’s children.’” (Talmud Ta’anit 23a)
Although trees offer desperately needed shade, and add that extra dash of beauty to our lives, we rarely take the time to admire their barks, their leaves, their towering heights.
Yet trees are the oldest forms of life, and, aesthetically pleasing, they are ecologically essential.
If trees could talk, they would be able to tell us wonderful stories about our history, our nation, and the lives of those who came before us.
Here are just a few:
Cedars outside the Jewish Agency building, Jerusalem, corner of King George and Keren Kayemet Streets
Fourteen meters tall, the three Himalayan cedar trees in front of the National Institutions complex on King George Street were planted in 1931. And although they are “only” 83 years old, they have witnessed more than their share of history – for the three major pre-State organizations have had their headquarters here since the early 1930s.