A New Spring in Israel
As spring moves on the winter rains come to a close and the temperatures get warmer and warmer. The winter rains brought nourishment and life to The Land. From this we are blessed with an incredible display of wild flowers. From the northern reaches of the Galilee to the desert of Eilat, the wild flowers of Israel are bursting with glory. Two of the most spectacular displays are of the delicate purple iris of northern Israel and the Judas tree of central Israel.
Each year thousand visit Mount Gilboa to be surrounded and delighted by the native elegant dark purple iris called the Gilboa Iris. For most of the year Mount Gilboa is spartan. Many claim it is because of a blight put on Mount Gilboa by King David as this was the place of Saul’s demise, ““Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.” (Samuel II 1:21) However, each spring everything changes as the Gilboa Iris comes in the bloom. This curse is lifted for a short time bringing beauty to the battlefield of Saul. The views from Mount Gilboa across the Galilee are spectacular. On a clear, crisp spring day with a carpet of purple laid out, one can see all the way to the snowcapped Mount Hermon.
Another site not to be missed in Israel’s spring is the Judas tree blooming in Jerusalem. Springtime visitors to the Holy Land have long been intrigued by this tree’s unusual blossoms and the mystery that surrounds its name. It is said that this is called a Judas tree because it is the species of tree that Judas chose to hang himself after his betrayal. As a result, the tree developed weak branches that are more beautiful than any other tree. This is to dissuade another person from using the tree as Judas did. Nevertheless, the blossoms are spectacular next to the Jerusalem stone warmed in the spring sun.
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