'The trees of the fields shall clap their hands'

Sunday, February 03, 2013 |  David Lazarus

The Jewish National Fund reports record number of trees planted in Israel this year on Tu Bishvat - the Jewish "New Year of the Trees."

The JNF said that over 600,000 trees were planted over the holiday weekend with over one million plantings expected by the end of the week-long event.

Want to help plant the Land of Israel? CLICK HERE to buy a tree for Israel!

Here are some Fun Facts about Tree Planting in Israel:

  • Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, once declared, “I do not know if there is a more fruitful enterprise whose results are so useful as the planting of trees.”

  • Israel is a global leader in reforestation and nature preservation.

  • The charitable organization Jewish National Fund (JNF) has planted more than 240 million trees in Israel, including 12,500 acres of forest every year.

  • The JNF now cares for 100,000 acres of natural woodlands.

  • Israel has over 150 nature reserves and 65 national parks established throughout the country.

  • Tu Bishvat, the “New Year of the Trees,” is a popular Israeli holiday when both children and adults enjoy planting trees in celebration.

  • When Theodore Herzl saw the dry and desolate landscape on a train ride from Jerusalem to Jaffa, he planted one of the first trees in Israel just outside Moza. “Herzl’s Cypress” has been an inspiration for all future generation to restore the land of Israel.

  • Israel was the ONLY country in the world to enter the 21st century with a net gain of trees

  • On Tu Bishvat 5709 (February 14, 1949), the Israeli Knesset gathered for the first time in the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem. The Knesset celebrates its establishment every year with Knesset members participating in tree-planting ceremonies together with school children, soldiers and different groups around the country.

  • Every year many forest fires around the country are caused by arson. In 2006 rockets fired by Hezbollah set fire to thousands of acres of trees in north. All of these forests are then replanted with support from volunteers and charity from Jews and Christians from around the world.

  • Because of the abundance of trees an estimated 550 million birds now cross Israel twice a year, heading in north in summer to their breeding grounds in Europe and Asia and south to winter in Africa. Many breeds never before seen in this part of the world are now residing right here in Israel which has become a favorite spot for the international bird-watching community.

  • Since 2009, the JNF has been helping the Palestinian Authority plan public parks for the Palestinian city of Rawabi, north of Ramallah. The JNF provided the Palestinian Authority with 3,000 tree seedlings for a forested area being developed on the edge of the new city.

  • This year over 260 cities, towns and communities participated in the JNF's annual planting event. On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of Israelis came en masse for a beautiful sunny day to celebrate the annual tree planting holiday.

  • Israel is getting more rainfall this year than the country has seen in many years. Rivers are flowing and dry areas are once again filling up with living waters. The Sea of Galilee is set to break record levels not seen in over 20 years. Israeli trees across the land must surely be “clapping their hands with joy” with this wonderful blessing from the Lord.

You can join the multitudes of Jews and Christians around the world restoring the Land of Israel by planting a tree with Israel Today.

CLICK HERE to plant a tree today!

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