Thursday, July 1, 2010

...lovely as a tree

Sometimes I can read news reports objectively; other times I have what I feel is a personal stake in what is happening and yes, my view is more subjective than objective.

This week there were some major fires in Israel. While the reports I read did say that some firefighters had to be treated for injuries, there were no reported deaths. But yes there were, even if they weren't the kind that news people usually consider deaths.

I remember the efforts of the JNF when I was a child to get trees planted in Israel. Certificates to plant a tree were sold, and I remember getting some of those as gifts from my parents instead of yet another toy or tchatchke. Growing up in Oregon we were very tree oriented, and I remember being happy that the desert would, at least in some places, be planted over with beautiful trees. We considered those our "personal" trees, a part of us that was growing in our medinah.

The Jerusalem Post reported that "The fires consumed more than 3000 dunams (300 hectares/750 acres) of forests and open spaces and 300,000 trees went up in flames." 300,000 trees died this week, trees that took years to come to maturity. And yes, I wondered if any of those trees were "my" trees, the trees of my youth that I had such happy thoughts about. To try and imagine how much effort and time it will take to try and replace the burned out forrests is just mind boggling. And then to read further that it is believed that most of the fires were as a result of arson?

This wasn't the end I ever visualized for my trees, and I imagine that no one else who contributed to their being planted did either. The poet was not wrong when he penned the lines "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree." How sad that nature should have been defiled in this way.


Anonymous said...

Not enough terrorist acts going on in eretz yisroel so they have to add eco terrorism too? What did the trees ever do to those animals?!

Anonymous said...

So sad.

The JNF tree drive was a unifying force. Little orange kids and grape kids as well little apples all saved up their allowances and babysitting and paper route money to donate and trees sponsored by mangos stood side by side with trees sponsored by brussel sprouts. (For those of you who think I've lost it, you are correct, but see the previous post for the tie-in.)