Saturday, February 4, 2012

We're Bringing Back the Shade of the Mighty Biblical Oak Tree

Shalom Girls & Boys:

Come fly with me to the Beit Keshet Forest in the Lower Galilee. Why? Because Israeli conservationists -- that means Israelis who want to restore and preserve our natural resources -- are replanting oak trees like this one.

Isn't it a beauty? It looks so Biblical.

It makes me think of the story of Abraham and the three strangers. The Bible says that he was sitting at his tent door near the mighty trees of Mamre when he saw them. Legend has it that the trees were oak and I believe it since oak trees are mentioned 60 times in the Bible!!!! That must be because they are one of the best sources of shade, which is something we definitely need over here in Israel during our long summer.

Oak trees also yield an oak nut called an acorn. I just found out that acorns are very important for forest ecology because they are a favorite food of wildlife living there. It's kinda like a cycle. You plant a little acorn seed and it grows into a massive oak tree with lots of acorns to eat. That's why Israel's forest friends are planting acorns over five acres of what was once a beautiful oak forest. I say once, because nearly 100 years ago almost all of the oak trees in the Beit Keshet forest were cut down, their wood used for construction, heating and steam engines. Sounds familiar I'm sure, since it's a sad story that's happened to many forests around the world.

Sooo, isn't the replanting of oak trees VERY good news? I'm so happy I'm reporting it to you for Tu B'Shvat. New trees for the New Year of Trees. Yippee!!!!

Chag Smaeach.  Happy Tu B'Shvat.

Psst...Almost forgot. Want another great way to celebrate Tu B'Shvat? Connect stories from the Bible with environmental protection by reading
Tami's new book Green Bible Stories for Children. It's a real eye opener and you'll love the matching activities.

Oak tree photo credit

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