Rushing to Replant Trees After Fire in Bat Ayin

by Yoni Schwartzman

Tragedy struck the forests which we planted a few years ago. The Israel365 Charity Fund was able to plant these groves thanks to the generosity of our supporters. This calamity befell the small town of Bat Ayin, on the border with many Palestinian towns in the West Bank, mere days ago! This news is devastating to say the least, since tending and harvesting the fruits of these trees provided livelihoods for several local farmers. What is worse, the biblically-decreed Sh’meetah Year is nearly upon us! Once it arrives, all planting and harvest in Israel will cease for an entire calendar year.


The conflagration now thwarts the community’s efforts to plant themselves in the Holy Land as it left dozens of charcoaled olive trees in its wake. We can not let this fire burn our efforts to replant the Children of Israel in their ancestral homeland. The prophetic words of Amos remain instilled in our hearts:

“And I will plant Israel upon their soil, nevermore to be uprooted from the land that I have given them (Amos 9:15).”

This catastrophe could not have come at a worse time; the Sabbatical Year, which starts in September, is only weeks away! Called the Sh’meetah Year in Hebrew, the looming ramifications of this unique law from The Bible will include a cease to all planting and harvesting in the Holy Land. That means that, starting this Rosh HaShanah holiday, all tree-planting in the Land of Israel will cease for 12 months, in accordance with Jewish biblical law. Our mission here at Israel365 has been, now and always, to fulfil the words of the Bible in the Holy Land of Israel. Israel365 will therefore adhere strictly to the laws which Moses declared for all to hear at Sinai; but that does not mean we will not also heed the words of the prophet Amos. Fulfill Amos’s centuries-old vision: replant the roots of the Jewish People in Israel now before it is too late!

The community of Bat Ayin needs you; will you answer the call?


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