Christians raise money for vandalized West Bank honey farm

“The efforts by these Christians send a powerful message: The Bible, and its message about a land flowing with milk and honey, is stronger than terrorism and can beat BDS,” Israel365 founder says.

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September 16, 2017 01:10
2 minute read.
Apples and honey. Fragrant summer apples and jar of honey

Apples and honey. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

 
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For Yael Farbstein from the community of Kedumim, Rosh Hashana is going to be a sweet holiday after all.

Following her dream of making the prophecy of "a Land Flowing with Milk and Honey" come to life, she established a bee farm in her West Bank hometown six years ago.

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But her dream became a nightmare last month when Arab vandals entered her Dvash Kedumim honey factory, stole equipment and caused extensive damage.  The thieves also ran off with every jar of her family’s award-winning honey, which was an entire season’s worth of labor. The vandals also plugged up the beehives in the fields, leaving the bees to die in the summer heat.

In an unprecedented response, several hundred Christian Zionists from around the world donated more than $15,000 to help rebuild Farbstein’s bee farm. The money, raised through two email solicitations sent by Israel365 and an article published by Breaking Israel News, is being used to replace the company’s beehives, to purchase improved security equipment and to support Farbstein and her family of nine children.

“The efforts by these Christians send a powerful message: The Bible, and its message about a land flowing with milk and honey, is stronger than terrorism and can beat BDS,” said Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder of Israel365.

Farbstein turned a biblical passion into remarkable results. Last February her company won the prestigious annual Black Jar Honey Tasting Contest held by the Center for Honeybee Research in Asheville, North Carolina. Hundreds of honey producers from around the world competed, and Farbstein won first place in the category of the International Multi-Floral Sourced Honeys.

The attack came just weeks before the holiday of Rosh Hashana, when Jews around the world dip apples in honey in a tradition meant to bring a sweet year. Despite the help she received, Farbstein’s special honey will not be a part of this tradition this year.



“Honey is all about God’s bounty,” Farbstein said. “It isn’t anything I can control. Sometimes it is sweet and plentiful, and sometimes it is less so. Despite the losses, we are doing our part by increasing our efforts. We need to show them that we are here to stay.”

The donations have given her new hope, she wrote.

“My dear friends,” Farbstein said in a letter to donors, “Even though I don’t know you, you feel like you are my close relatives. Your encouragement and support … and the large amount of funds raised by this U.S. community, who appreciates and cherishes the settlement of the West Bank and the Land of Israel, strengthens us a lot and gives us the energy and ability to work hard, rehabilitate the apiary and bolster security – rather than simply escaping. God willing, with your help, we will once again bring forth the good and the sweet from the Land of Israel.”
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