First Tree after Shmita Year Planted by Bavarian Agriculture Minister.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The tree was the first to be planted directly in the ground following the Jewish Year 5775, which was a fallow (shmita) year.
“This symbolic tree planting is not only in honor of cooperation between Israel and Germany in the past, but also a symbol of future cooperation between our two countries,” said Mr. Helmut Brunner, Minister of Agriculture and Forest Management of the State of Bavaria, before planting an olive tree in Peace Forest on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
Minister Brunner was visiting Israel together with a delegation of about 20 members of parliament from all parties, researchers, economic experts and ministry officials. During their visit, the Bavarian delegation will be studying Israeli achievements in irrigating rural areas and eco/agri tourism, along with other fields of activity.
“In Bavaria,” the minister continued, “planting a tree is a way of expressing gratitude for the birth of a new child, or in honor of someone’s birthday, and it is also regarded as a symbol of sustainability and continuity. I am well aware of the fact that there is not a great deal of annual rainfall in Israel, and I am also aware of KKL-JNF’s remarkable and innovative water and irrigation technologies. I am certain that the tree that we will plant today will grow and prosper, as will the ties between us. Its roots will help it to grow, but it will also help humanity to combat desertification. Trees are beneficial both to us and also to the environment.
“In conclusion, I would like to quote Bertolt Brecht, who said that a forest is not just a number of trees, ‘it is what gladdens people’s hearts.’ This is exactly what I hope for and want to see here. I look forward to future cooperation over many, many years.”
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, Minister Brunner also donated 50 trees to the German States Forest in the Western Negev.
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