Small tree

We can see from the Midrash that God wanted man to take care of the environment and plant trees. We can observe the same in the Bible as well.

Take into accounts of how beautiful the Garden of Eden was with trees as recorded in Genesis. "Look at my works! See how beautiful they are, how excellent! For your sake, I created them all. Take care not to spoil or destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you." This means we need to take care of what God entrusted us with on the earth. Planting trees to replace what was used is just the beginning. The collection of Midrashic Jewish literature called Avot DeRabbi Natan explained that planting a tree is welcoming the Messiah. "‘If while holding a sapling in your hand you are told that the Messiah is about to arrive, first plant the sapling and then go out to receive the Messiah." God commands us to plant trees in order to emulate His act of creation, Breaking Israel explained."The messianic vision of the Jews’ return to their homeland, therefore, necessarily includes reforestation." Here are 6 reasons to plant trees in Israel.

God wants us to replenish the earth.

What did God do when He established the world? He took a dry land and made it fertile. Genesis 2:9 it explained: "The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden where the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." It is our jobs to keep the earth green and healthy since He trusted it to us as we are given only one earth.

Trees are symbolic.

In Israel, trees are an important part of life. In fact, there is an ancient Jewish custom to plant a tree every time a child is born. The male typically will plant a cedar tree and the female will plant a cypress tree. The hope is that the girls will be hopeful and fragrant like the cypress tree and the boys will grow into strong men. "Later in their lives, the branches from the cypress and cedar of a bride and groom are used to make the chuppah for their wedding ceremony," Ritural.org shared. When they are married, the couple will stand under the chuppah or branches cut from the trees. This represents the bond between birth and marriage. Etz Hayyim in Hebrew means Tree of Life. Of course, the Tree of Life is recorded in the Bible and in the Book of Psalms, we are told the righteous flourish like palm trees. "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon."

A tree represents creation.When a tree is planted it represents the miracle of life. After the seed is planted, people pray over it. Here is an example of the prayer: "Dear God, we stand before you in awe as we witness these miracles of your creation—this young tree and our new baby. Both are unique and original, unlike anything that ever was before or will be. Each began with a single seed, concealing a complex potential that miraculously unfolds with each passing day. We pray that the roots of this tree will gain hold and spread deep, drawing nourishment from the fertile earth. So may our child draw nourishment from her/his own roots—family, heritage and tradition."

We do it to honor those who died.

In the past trees were planted for fallen IDF soldiers in Israel. There were 100 trees planted for every soldier killed in battle. In their memory, over 2,000 trees were planted after three Israeli teens were found murdered in 2014. Jewish National Fund works to encourage people to plant trees as a memorial to honor loved ones and to keep Israel a vibrant country. The Tree of Knowledge was shown to Adam and this showed the connection between trees and how they feed our souls. "In Judaism, Tu B'Shevat is a Jewish holiday celebrated annually honoring the birth of the trees and the fruit that they deliver to help sustain humankind," Shiva.com explained. You can plant trees in Israel no matter where you live in the world in honor of those who passed.

It keeps the Holy Land vibrant.

"For the pastures of the wilderness are green with grass, the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength," Joel 2:22 explained. Israel is bombarded with missiles daily and there is always damage done to the forest and other areas. Also, the region is mostly desert and trees need to be planted to keep the land vital. All forests are hand-planted and it requires continual care. "Through dedication and devotion to greening in less than 60 years, Israel has become one of only two countries in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees," the Jewish National Fund shared. It has helped the country remain green for over 100 years.

Planting trees emulate strength.

God said that He would comfort all who mourn and give us gladness instead of mourning, "hTe mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified,” Isaiah 61:1–3 stated. Planting a tree is significant as its roots signify the strength of God and how we are strong like the roots. When the Scripture talks about being an oak of righteousness, God is speaking to us about being righteous in Him and to be built up as a mighty oak.

A tree is a symbol of strength, faith, rebirth, and righteousness. All of these attributes are found in the Bible. By planting trees in Israel, we are continually sowing into the cradle of Christianity and helping the Jewish nation grow.
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