What to see in Israel | Beauty of the Olive Tree
“ …a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey…” (Deuteronomy 8:8, NKJV)
The olives trees in Israel have been around for centuries. It is mentioned many times in the Bible, indicating the great significance of the olive tree in biblical times. It is one of the seven species in the Land of Israel. The olive tree is extremely symbolic for the Jewish people. An olive branch stands on either side of the seven-branched menorah in the emblem of both the State and the Israel Defense Forces. The dove that returned to Noah’s ark carried an olive branch in its mouth to symbolise the end of the flood and the return of life to earth. Today, the olive branch is an international symbol of peace.
Olive oil has been more than just a food to the cultures of the Mediterranean region. It has been used for lighting, cooking, medicinal purposes, and moisturising skin. The oil of its fruit has anointed the noblest heads throughout history. Olive wreaths have also been given out to crown victorious athletes of sport as well as victorious generals of war.
The olive tree is among the oldest known of cultivated trees in the world. It can grow up to 6m high. Its trunk is thick and twisted with a silvery foliage. It has long roots that penetrate down to the deep, damp layers of the soil, making it capable of surviving through Israel’s dry summers. Its flowers appear in late April and during May. Olive trees start providing fruit when six years old and over. Its fruit grows during the summer, remaining green until November when it ripens, and its colour becomes purple black. It contains a high ratio of oil and is rich in Vitamin A.
In Israel, olive trees grow wild and are also cultivated. They are known to live longer than most other fruit trees. Some of the ancient trees now growing in the Galilee and the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem are thought to be at least 900 years old and beyond. Olives are now one of the most important fruits grown in Israel, with olive plantations in the mountains of the Galilee, on the coastal plain, and in the mountains of Samaria and Ephraim. While wild olives are reproduced from seeds, cultivated olives are planted using shoots that grown at the base of another olive tree. Psalm 128:3 uses this imagery in comparing children to olive shoots around the table.
Olive Trees at Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem
Olive shoots around the Olive Tree
Where can I buy Olive Oil products?
Today, many people recognise the health benefits of a diet rich in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and at the same time, are embracing a revival in the culture of bath and body products that use olive oil and oil extracts as their primary ingredients.
Olea Essence from the Sea of Galilee has an offering of olive oil and olive-based skincare that is eco-responsible and fully natural. You can check out this collection of products at Rock Gifts & Book Centre at The Star Vista #02-07 or visit their website https://rockonline.sg/collections/olea-essence
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