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Rain Fails to Dampen Tu B’shvat Mood

Husky soldiers and small children worked together in the rain today to plant saplings at Metullah on Israel’s northern frontier. The occasion was Tu B’Shvat–the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Shevat–which is known in Israel as the New Year’s Day of Trees. Only a week ago the border echoed with artillery and small arms fire as Israeli forces continued their mini-war against terrorists in southern Lebanon. Today all was quiet, except for the steady downpour.

It rained over most of northern and central Israel but that didn’t dampen the spirits of youngsters who came out to plant trees around Tel Aviv and Jaffa, in Rehovoth and on the slopes of Mt. Carmel overlooking Haifa. In Beersheba and the south it was dry however. In Eilat, local youngsters and some 400 members of an Israel Bond Organization mission currently visiting Israel laid down a forest of 500 trees under sunny skies. There was one tree for each child born in Eilat during the past year.