web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » Sections » Travel »

Wild Flowers


LIttman-012513-Charziah-2

Share Button

Eretz Yisrael, located at the junction of three continents, is the meeting place of diverse climates and vegetation zones – and home to over 2,500 plants!

Obviously, it would be impossible to discuss them all in one article. However, in honor of Tu B’Shevat we will focus on some pre-spring and spring flowers.

Eretz Yisrael is covered by a mantle of flowers and leafy growth from mid-Shevat until about the end of Iyar (usually February to June, depending on the year). This is not to say flowers are lacking at other times of the year. But the abundance of flora in this period turns the country into an enchanted wonderland. Even the most casual observer cannot help but be impressed by the colorful floral display. Nature blooms with hundreds of herbs, shrubs, climbers and trees, which contribute their color and fragrance. Some of the vegetation is common and plentiful, whereas other strains are rare and unusual.

 

Shkeidiah – Almond

The flowering of the almond — shkeidiah, marks the beginning of the “breaking of winter cold” in the Holy Land. What a grand sight — the majestic shkeidiot in bloom, with their delicately scented blossoms of gentle color, dotting the Israeli landscape.

LIttman-012513-Shkeidiah-1The almond tree and its fruit are called luz in Tanach and luza in Gemara.    The word shaked means “quick” in Hebrew, indicating that the almond is one of the first summer fruits to ripen. In some species the fruit develops even before the leaves appear.Littman-012513-Shkeidiah-2

Yirmiyahu Hanavi (1:11) saw a branch of an almond tree, signifying that punishment was imminent. Almond trees have grown in Eretz Yisrael since ancient times. When Yaakov Avinu sent his son Yosef, the viceroy of Egypt, “the best fruits of the Land,” almonds were included (Bereishis 43:11). The Rambam writes, “Almonds are the best of fruits.” It is well known that almonds are extremely nutritious and have many medicinal qualities.

The almond motif was part of the divine design for the Menorah (Shemos 25:33-34, 37:19-20). According to some opinions, Moshe was instructed to make the bowls of the Menorah in the shape of almonds. Others say that drawings of almonds were engraved on the bowls. Ibn Ezra says the reference to the almond blossoms in Koheles (12:5) alludes to the whiteness of the hair of old age. Rashisays that the fact that the almond, which sprouts before any other tree, is mentioned in the pasuk is to illustrate old age, which comes and overtakes one all too quickly.

 

Kalanit – Crown Anemone

Littman-012513-KalanitAnother early bloomer is the crown anemone, known as the kalanit. The most common of the flower is bright red. When the British ruled in Palestine (1917-1948) their soldiers wore red berets and they were called “kalaniot” by the local Jewish populace.

These flowers also come in a variety of colors — white, cream, pink, purple, blue among them. Generally, the non-red anemones are more common in northern Eretz Yisrael, where they start flowering in late winter. This photo was taken on Har Hakalaniot, which is part of the Gilboa Mountain. Kalaniot are protected flowers.

 

 

Pereg – Corn PoppyLittman-012513-Pereg

As spring progresses, red beauties that could be mistaken for kalaniot appear. These flowers are actually members of the poppy family. They are called pereg in Hebrew and thought to be the pre-runner to the cultivated poppy. Many times, they create large, sparkling red areas in northern and central Israel. The seeds of this annual herb can remain dormant under the soil for up to 80 years and then they will suddenly spring into life. How reminiscent of techiyas hameisim!

 

 

Rakefet - CyclamenLittman-012513-Rakefet-2

Littman-012513-Rakefet-1Prolonged in their flowering season, cyclamens are profuse, beautiful and fragrant, making them highly beloved. Called rakafot in Hebrew, there are different strains growing in our Land. The rakefet mezo’eiah (mezo’eiah means found) has flowers ranging in color from white to deep shocking-pink, and heart-shaped leaves. On Mount Meron and in the Golan Heights one can find rakefet yavanit with smaller flowers and round leaves.

After pollination, a rakefet’s flower stem coils downward, allowing its flower head to droop down near to the ground and shed the ripe seeds into the nearby soil, thereby ensuring the continuation of the species in abundance. Rakafot are also protected wildflowers.

 

Littman-012513-Charziah-1Charziah- Daisy

The daisy family (charziot in Hebrew) abounds in Eretz Yisrael. The crown daisy grows in fallow lands, fields and along roadsides in most of Israel. When evening falls, the daisy flower bends down to shield its centre, in which the seeds develop.

 

Chalmit – MallowLittman-012513-Chalmit

Mallows are edible plants widely used as food. In the War of Independence when  Jerusalem was under siege, the common mallow provided food for many of its residents. The leaves were used to prepare salads, fritters and soups. Children would hold contests, competing to see who could collect the most of the of the plants’ bread-like edible fruit.

Share Button

About the Author: Originally from south Africa, Vardah has been living in Eretz Yisrael since 1974 and the more she learns about our glorious Holy Land the more she gets to love this prime property that Hashem has given to the Jewish People. She is studying to be a tour guide and hopes with the help of Hashem, through this column to give readers a small taste of the land.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Wild Flowers”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Vardah Littmann
Littman-112213-Flowers

Only half an hour’s drive from Jerusalem, the majestically beautiful Einot Tzukim Nature Reserve is a lush, green oasis surrounded by miles of flat arid, desert.

Littman-102513-Wall

The Kotel Hakatan is the “little sister” of the well-known Western Wall, and is reminiscent of the photos and drawings of the way the Kotel looked before 1948. It is located 200 yards further north of the Kotel, and is on the same level as Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount). Since its plaza is much narrower, and the majority of the wall is underground (thereby concealing much of its height), the Small Wall is less impressive than the Western Wall.

When we come to the Kotel we may be so engrossed in our tefillos that we don’t notice the numerous birds flying close by and the plants growing out of her stones. But the Kotel—spiritual home to millions — is built of stones that serve as the physical home for various animals and plants.

Although there are more direct and faster routes to Beer Sheva and Eilat and all the sites and towns in-between, the Basor River is one of the beauties of the Negev that defiantly justifies a diversion.

Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.

About four years ago a group of orthodox senior citizens from Bnei Brak arrived to tour the Ayalon Institute. One woman seemed to be exceptionally moved and cried a lot. Nearly two week later, she sent a letter to the Institute explaining why. She wrote that she was a Holocaust survivor and between 1943 and 1945 she had been a forced laborer making bullets to help the Nazi cause – bullets that were used many times against Jews. After the war, she had concentrated on raising a frum generation, suppressing all the terror of those horrendous years in order to do so.

We will start our tour at Agripas No. 12, exactly where the first round stone pot-plant of pansies stands, on the same side of Binyan Klal, but walking towards King George Street and opposite the traffic circle. Entering HaRav Chaim Elboher Alley, we find ourselves in Even Yisrael.

The crane is the king of the Hula Valley with welcoming squawks and shrieks of sheer delight from the thousands on the ground and the many hundreds in the skies above. They are surely calling out “Shalom aleichem, my friends, alechem shalom, so glad you arrived,” for it is known that cranes inform each other of favorable domiciles.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/wild-flowers/2013/01/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: