"And when you come into the land and have planted all kinds of trees for food..."
In the Jewish calendar Tu Bishvat is marked as the New Year of trees.
Tragedy struck on Mount Carmel near Haifa in December of 2010, during a particularly hot and dry winter, when a fire raged out of control and destroyed millions of trees, as well as parts of settlements, including the artists' village of Ein Hod. Israel had to call on foreign countries to assist in putting out the fire, which took four days to accomplish. It then took over a year for the land to recover sufficiently to begin replanting trees lost in the fire.
The 19th Maccabiah Games took place in Israel during the last two weeks of July. An estimated 9,000 athletes from 72 countries participated in the games, with 20,000 tourists watching the third-largest sporting event in the world.