Blood of the Maccabees, or Blood of Christ?

Iconic flower associated with the sacrifices made in Israel’s rebirth is also linked to the blood of Messiah

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Memorial Day
"Blood of the Maccabees" blooming in central Israel ahead of Memorial Day.
"Blood of the Maccabees" blooming in central Israel ahead of Memorial Day. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A very special flower blooms only in the western parts of the Levant, namely Israel, Lebanon and parts of Syria and Jordan. In English it’s known as Red Everlasting, it’s scientific name being Helichrysum sanguineum.

In Israel, in modern Hebrew, it’s called Dam HaMakabim, the Blood of the Maccabees. Legend has it that this flower blooms anywhere in the Land where blood has been spilled.

The name was proposed and accepted by the Academy of the Hebrew Language back in 1923, and since then Dam HaMakabim has become a powerful symbol of Israel’s Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron, when we remember those who have fallen defending the Jewish state or in attacks upon her.

The Blood of the Maccabees is a poignant reminder visible for all of Israel to see of the sacrifice needed to restore this people to its land.

Yom HaZikaron 2022 begins this Tuesday evening with the main ceremonies taking place on Wednesday.

Interestingly, this flower is also associated with sacrifice among the Arabs of this region. They refer to it as dam al-Massiah, the Blood of Messiah (or Blood of Christ), an everlasting reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made on behalf of all mankind.

Isn’t it interesting how a symbol that became associated with the blood shed to restore national Israel is also firmly associated with the blood shed by Israel’s Messiah to redeem and restore the world?

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