An Israeli Prayer for The Planting of a Tree
October 12, 2014
WE WALKED across the harsh countryside of Neot Kedimim, a Biblical Landscape Reserve sprawling between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
There are highlands and valleys, places where rain seldom touches the earth, and it looks much as it did more than three thousand years ago when the Children of Israel first wandered across the terrain.
We were each given a small olive tree to plant in soil that feels the brunt of an unforgiving sun but seldom the cool of an evening shade.
Trees on a barren landscape are precious.
They are hope.
They are life.
After the planting, this was the prayer given for and by us all:
Thou who buildest Zion and Jerusalem
Take pleasure in Thy land
And bestow upon it Thy goodness
And Thy grace.
Give dew for a blessing
And cause beneficent rains
To fall in their season
To satiate the mounts of Israel
And her valleys
And to water thereon every plant and tree.
And these saplings
Which we plant before Thee this day,
Make deep their roots and wide their crown,
That they may blossom forth in grace
Amongst all the trees in Israel,
For good and for beauty.
And strengthen the hands of all our brethren,
Who toil to revive the sacred soil
And make fruitful its waters.
Bless, O Lord, their might,
And may the work of their hands
Find favour before Thee.
Look down from Thy holy habitation,
And bless this land
That it may flow again with milk and honey.