The Garden of Eden of Biblical days, that fabulous habitat of Adam and Eve — is now being restored in the Land of the Bible.
Plants In Israel
As in the days some 4,000 years ago, so today we find in Israel the following:
- Fig Trees and Olive Trees
- Palms and Oleanders
- Sycamores and Cypresses
- Mulberry Bushes and Pomegranates
- Orange Groves and Apple Trees
- Acacias and Willows
- St. John’s Bread and Balsams
- Myriads of other trees
- Vines and Flowers
Although the trees were part of natural forests in Galilee and Judea in ancient times, today’s forests in Israel are mostly man-made.
They are only being cultivated and grown because the Land of the Bible lay fallow for the past 2,000 years while the hills and mountains stood barren and nude.
However, the barren desert of yesterday is slowly growing into patches of bright green fields; the naked rocks are giving way to fruitful vineyards.
This is because the new State of Israel has a large-scale program, calling not only for the development of agriculture but for planting forests to hold the sand and serve as windbreaks in the desert area.
Since 1948, when the State was established, some 15 million trees have been planted in the country.
Ever-Changing Topography At The Hills Of Judea
About 5 million guards the road to Jerusalem at the Hills of Judea. Thus over 12,000 acres of land have already been planted; an additional 125,000 acres are reserved for further afforestation.
As a matter of fact, this activity makes Israel an exceedingly exciting country to visit — you are constantly aware of the ever-changing topography of the land.
One day you pass through an area with nothing but sand; one month later, that area will have little saplings, which will be much larger within weeks.
The planting of trees has become a national tradition in Israel, with its high point expressed on Arbor Day, a festive children’s holiday.
Arbor Day: Excellent Tourist Attraction
Celebrated each year in February, when delicate almond blossoms herald Israel’s spring, Arbor Day is an excellent tourist attraction.
On this day, children of all ages meet at school to join in a colorful parade to Mount Carmel, the Hills of Judea, or another historic sight; each child carries a sapling, which is later planted with the others.
The ceremony culminates in traditional singing and spirited folk dancing, which usually lasts until the wee hours of the morning.
In 1955, Arbor Day was celebrated on February 7.
The ceremonies will include visits to Beersheba, the town of the Patriarchs, where several wells and one of its many trees are traditionally associated with Abraham.
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