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Lag BaOmer Turns into Tree Planting Festival in Gush Etzion

Tuesday B’Shvat, the “New Year of Trees marked by tree planting towards winter’s end, reappeared in Gush Etzion on Lag BaOmer.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/3/2010, 3:48 PM / Last Update: 5/3/2010, 4:42 PM

Tuesday B’Shvat, the “New Year of Trees" marked by tree planting towards the end of winter, reappeared at Netzer in Gush Etzion on Lag BaOmer. Land of Israel activists planted dozens of olive trees at Netzer in a further attempt to keep the land in Jewish hands. 

 Civil Lands Administration jeeps also were on hand but left the area towards nightfall when residents from the nearby community of Elazar, opposite Efrat, bolstered the activists' numbers.

Former Knesset Member and nationalist Geula Cohen called the activists and expressed surprise. “Planting on Lag BaOmer? What is this, Tu B’Shvat?” she asked.

The activists replied, “Most Jewish holidays are connected with the land, and Lag BaOmer is not different.” They noted that Bar Kochba, remembered on Lag BaOmer, fought for the spiritual and physical independence of Israel and that the struggle continues today.

“Planting trees establishes facts on the ground,” said the tree planters from Women in Green, Garin Netzer, Keren Yavne and the Committee for Action in Judea.