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“The yearning for planting trees, comes from the desire to bestow kindness to the future generations. This is most powerfully manifest in the carob tree.”
It’s hard to believe, but it has already been a year since we started the activity in the garden.
Hard to believe because we had so many things last year.And hard to believe because the time has gone by so quickly. ("Time flies when you’re having fun")
About two hours before the party began, the place for the event was being prepared. Much preparation was carried out with a group of Sheirut Le’Umi (National Service) girls from Project `Shcham`, in which the families of the project attended as well. To start, we hung the ornaments that the children had made in the same place earlier this week. Then we set the table inside for the "Tu B’shvat Seder", and prepared the tables outside with all of the creative ornaments.
Although the party was set to begin at 4:00 PM, about an hour before the start, adults and children began to trickle into the center, and some even helped us prepare.
The party was composed of three parts.
In the first part we planted new trees on the hill by the entrance to the Center. We planted pomegranate, fig, olive and strawberry seedlings that we received from the JNF. Additionally, we acquired a large almond tree acquired for the occasion in order to plant. We were also graced by the presence of the Ethiopian Sheirut Le’Umi girls from `Bat Ami` that accompany us throughout the year. And, as usual, they helped us out tremendously. During this time, the children prepared their ornaments in the outdoor area, as well as dried fruit and paper flowers.
Afterwards, all the kids and adults came in and sat down for the Tu B’Shvat Seder. Everyone enjoyed the selection of dried fruits in accordance with the traditions of the holiday. (It also helped that this past week we learned about the health benefits that were taught to us by Aviva, the local nutritionist).
During the Tu B’Shvat Seder, we talked about the statement by Rav Kook that appears at the top of this page. It reminds us that when we planted these trees a few minutes earlier, some of the children were disappointed in the small size of the trees. The adults had to explain to them that although they are small now, that is the nature of the tree, and that they will indeed grow in the future and bear many fruits. This is an important principle in planting, that when we plant, we don’t necessarily do it for ourselves, rather for future generations. Additionally, our garden is based on that principle, and that although the adults are there to plant for themselves, an important part of it is the connection between the adults’ current generation and the education of the children. This allows future generations to connect to each other, to the land, and to the environment.
After everyone ate and enjoyed the meal, the kids went outside to eat pitas which were cooked on a fire. The adults stayed inside to listen to a lecture by Moshe Aviv, a herbalist. The lecture was arranged by Judy Gold, the coordinator of the “Hineni” Elderly Club which operates here every Monday morning. Moshe described the different herbs and plants which can be used for medicinal purposes, including some of the plants that are growing in our garden. The adults were fascinated, and asked many questions, and discussed the origins of the names of the plants, including in Ethiopian.
Overall, it was a great party with dozens of neighborhood residents and their kids.
This party brought out all of the greatness and beauty of our garden and the ample collaboration between various organizations and projects working on a platform of our garden.
Now all that remains is to wish our garden many, many years of growth and prosperity.
Happy Birthday to the Edible garden