Czech Republic Firefighters Donate Fire Truck to KKL-JNF .
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Every year, we can take a break from the stresses of modern life to go out into nature, observe the trees and pronounce the blessing.
A ceremony to mark the event was held jointly by KKL-JNF and the Union of Synagogues and Communities in Israel at Ammunition Hill, in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
Similar tree blessing ceremonies took place simultaneously in many Jewish communities throughout the world.
Member of Knesset Moti Yogev pronounced the blessing for the trees over two new citrus saplings planted at the Ammunition Hill site: “Blessed are You, Our God, King of the Universe, whose world lacks nothing and who made wondrous creations and beautiful trees for human beings to enjoy.”
The Ammunition Hill (Giv‘at HaTahmoshet) site commemorates the battle for Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. The hill was captured by Israeli paratroopers after a bloody battle fought in trenches and bunkers that has become a symbol of Jewish determination and heroism. Over the years KKL-JNF has been involved in developing this heritage site with the support of its Friends in the USA, Canada and Australia. Thanks to their support, ongoing activities are maintained at the site, the garden has been developed and the amphitheater has undergone refurbishment.
KKL-JNF Board Member Shamai Keinan, who represented the organization at the ceremony, read out greetings from KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar: “It is our hope that the blessing on the trees will prevail throughout this country of ours. As this ceremony takes place, similar ceremonies are being held in Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora, for the continuation of the fulfilment of the Zionist vision and for the benefit of the environment.”
The ceremony, which was broadcast live on Kol Israel’s Heritage Network (Reshet Moreshet), was conducted by World Zionist Organization representative David Ben Naeh. During the event the Zimrat Yah Choir sang the Planter’s Prayer for the first time to words composed by the late Rabbi Shaar-Yishuv Cohen, set to music by Dr. Uri Aharon.
Read more about the Birkat HaIlanot ceremony and watch video