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    Making the world a garden – Tu BiSh’vat

    Man’s encounter with trees begins with B’reshit. That is also the beginning of the history of the environment.

    God planted a garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8) and expected man to look after it. Unfortunately, early man found the task too daunting and lost his paradise. Ever since he has been trying to find it again.

    In the first instance he has worked on the Land of Israel, with notable success. The deserts have become gardens and the land has been made beautiful. The next step is to try to spread the task onto the global canvas.

    We know that unfriendly elements think the Jews have plans for world domination. They are not entirely wrong, but they misunderstand the nature of the Jewish commitment to be a light to the nations (Isa. 49:6), which has nothing to do with controlling the world but really means to share our ethical teachings with mankind.

    There is still so much to do until the world is a fertile garden, both literally and metaphorically. In the meantime there are so many nations and individuals that only want to turn on their teacher because they fear that Utopia would spell an end to their shenanigans.

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