The Word of God manifest: The Restoration & Reforestation of the Land of Israel

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The Jerusalem Forest

‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: …I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.  They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”  Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it…. It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy Name’– Ezekiel 36.

Restoring the long-barren Mountains of Judah, the Jerusalem Forest was planted in the late 1950s and the 1960s by visionary Zionists, in my days (I am three years older than the re-born State of Israel).  See the testimony of the inimitable Mark Twain in his vivid description of the desolate landscape of the Land of Israel on his visit in June 1867, exactly one century before Jerusalem came again into the hands of the Jewish people in a miraculous six day  war of June 1967- a signature of God’s creation (from The Innocents Abroad ):

“We traversed some miles of desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given wholly to weeds – a silent mournful expanse – …A degree of desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with pomp of life and action. We reached Tabor safely …We never saw a human being on the whole route….We pressed on toward the goal of our crusade, renowned Jerusalem.  The further we went the hotter the sun got and the more rocky and bare…the landscape became…There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies…”

Yosef Weitz, director of the KKL-JNF Forestry Department at the time, who was called “the father of the forests of Israel,” promised Jerusalem Mayor Gershon Agron that he would cover the hills of Jerusalem with green. The first tree was planted in 1956 by the second President of Israel, Itzhak Ben Zvi. The Jerusalem Forest is located southwest of Jerusalem and is the green lung of the residents of Israel’s capital. The forest has a variety of trees, flowers and wildlife, remains of ancient farming implements and burial caves.  Throughout the forest, pine and cypress trees were planted, as well as Palestine oak, terebinth, carob, olive, fig, pomegranate and other species of Mediterranean woodlands and orchards that used to cover the slopes of the Judean Hills. The flowers that grow among them in the spring are anemones, daffodils and cyclamens. One may often see gazelles running in the area, families of wild boar, and sometimes the Persian Red Deer that have been re-introduced, and hear the sounds of the numerous songbirds.

For you who are looking about for a sign, search no longer, for it is now before your eyes in reality: YHVH has indeed gathered the Jewish people from all the corners of the world back to the land of our fathers in the sight of all the nations- for those with eyes to see.

Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?’ – Jesus

Tomb of Samuel the Prophet
Grandpa enjoying the Jerusalem Forest with children & children’s children
Home Sweet Home b”H