Tag Archives: Tu B’shevat

Tu B’Shevat

This week I am posting a wonderful piece by blogger Michael Ordman.  Michael writes a blog called Good News Israel, and this one is, as usual, excellent.  It is about the water shortage occurring in nations around the world, and Israel’s ability and desire to help those nations create solutions. I thought I would share it with you. Please click on the youtube videos. They are incredible.

Bearing Fruit to Those Who Want It   by   Michael Ordman

Image result for treesThe Jewish festival of Tu B’Shvat (New Year for Trees) inspired me to look back over the year at the agricultural and environmental benefits Israel and Israeli companies have provided internationally. But I was only motivated to write this blog when I heard that my cousins in Cape Town, South Africa have been ordered to ration their water usage and from April will have their water cut off.  Why?  Because South Africa has refused Israel’s offers to help solve their water management problems.  As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink.”

Down the road from South Africa, Israeli experts in drip irrigation and crop management trained nineteen educators in Swaziland, which was almost crippled by drought last year. In the same continent, but at the other end of the scale, Israeli NGO “Innovation: Africa” has been providing clean water and aid to millions of Africans, including tens of thousands of refugees living in the war-torn Central African Republic.  The NGO also saved the whole village of Akuyam in Karamoja, Ugandawhere many hadn’t eaten for three days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PkW1PGaQAY

Related image

Ironically, in late 2016 (before the South African boycott), Israel’s Fluence installed a potable desalination system to solve dire drought conditions in KwaZulu-Natal – a semi-autonomous region in South Africa. No wonder the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithinii, monarch of 12 million Zulus urged (fruitlessly) the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to retain close ties with Israel.

On the other hand, those countries that have accepted Israel’s help are reaping the benefits. Take water, for example. In India, Israel’s WaterGen has launched a pilot with India’s Tata to generate water out of thin air.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7AlNmkoJMc

Israel’s water systems are certainly appreciated by the US State of Wisconsin, and by water professionals from Canada, China and the Czech Republic. In Ghana, Israel’s Yam Pro is using water to produce 150 megawatts of wave energy.Meanwhile, Israel’s TaKaDu is preventing major water leakages from Australia toVietnam, not forgetting Spain, the UK and the USA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36cmRxpMICg

Appropriately, for the Jewish New Year for Trees, here are just a few agricultural items. Israeli charity KKL-JNF was asked by Kenya to help turn its deserts into forests, using Israeli technology that can conserve soil, capture rain runoff, monitor precipitation and promote conservation. Then, just over a month ago the municipality of Jerusalem (Israel’s capital) gave away free fir trees to those Christian residents who wanted them. Finally, take a look at the FarmZee app from Israeli startup Farmster, which is saving Tanzania’s crops from going to waste.by providing farmers (without Internet access) with a special SMS link to buyers for their crops.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPqX5Vh9Uv0

There are many South Africans that speak the truth about Israel’s work to benefit humanity. They agree with what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his recent speech to the United Nations.  “So many countries around the world have woken up to what Israel can do for them.” “Israel is the place for cutting-edge technology, in agriculture, in water… You name it, we’ve got it”.

And it won’t cost the earth

Be inspired! And have a wonderful Shabbat.

Laya Crust

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The Trees’ Birthday

20150203_190816[1]Tu B’Shevat- the Trees’ birthday.

In Judaism we have a special place in our heart for trees. We call the Torah “The Tree of Life” We are always looking back at our ancestors- our family tree. It is forbidden in Jewish law to cut down a fruit tree. And in our ancient history some families had a tradition to  plant a tree when a baby was born- a cedar for boys and a cypress for girls. When a couple got married, branches from their trees were used to hold up the marriage canopy. Another tradition- I remember when I was a little girl we would collect money to plant trees in Israel on Tu B’Shevat.

I mention this now because this year Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat, begins tonight, on Tuesday February 3 and continues tomorrow, Wednesday February 4.

One enjoyable and tasty idea is to gather 15 fruits that grow on trees. In the collection above I have figs, dates, almonds, olives, pomegranate, grapefruit, walnuts, avocado, orange, persimmon, mango, pear, plum, carob, and just for the fun of it, dragon fruit.

So get your inner fruit lover and enjoy the abundance with family and friends.

In case you missed it a few days ago, here is a repeat of the Pomegranate- Ginger Bark recipe:

20150201_115733[1]You’ll need:

1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

a pomegranate

fresh ginger root or candied ginger

a sprinkling of salt (I would suggest Malden or kosher salt)
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Remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Peel a 1″ section of ginger. Slice the ginger and dice into tiny pieces. (You can toss the ginger with a small amount of potato starch to absorb  the moisture from the fresh ginger.)

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.

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Combine 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds with 1 Tbsp. of ginger, and stir into the melted chocolate.

Pour onto parchment paper and smoothe it out. Sprinkle with a little kosher or Malden salt.

Pour onto parchment paper and smoothe it out. Sprinkle with a little kosher or Malden salt.

 

20150201_123658[1]

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Chill the pomegranate bark in the refrigerator or freezer. Serve and enjoy.

 

 

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Tu B’Shevat Treat

20150201_114720[1]

Tu B’Shevat- The 15th of Shevat, and birthday of the new Trees.

I love pomegranates- clay pomegranates, ceramic pomegranates fresh pomegranates, dried pomegranates, silver pomegranates, gold pomegranates- you name them, I love them. I love their colour, the richness, the shape, and I love the juicy tart yet sweet seeds.

I’ve been waiting for Tu B’Shevat so I can share this recipe with you. I call it “Pomegranate Bark”. It’s the same idea as almond bark but it’s chocolate with pomegranate seeds, fresh ginger and a sprinkling of salt.

20150201_115733[1]You’ll need:

1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

a pomegranate

fresh ginger root or candied ginger

a sprinkling of salt (I would suggest Malden or kosher salt)

20150201_120801[1]20150201_121337[1]

 Remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Peel a 1″ section of ginger. Slice the ginger and dice into tiny pieces. (You can toss the ginger with a small amount of potato starch to absorb  the moisture from the fresh ginger.)

20150201_122338[1]Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.

20150201_121411[1]

Combine 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds with 1 Tbsp. of ginger, and stir into the melted chocolate.

20150201_122707[1]

Pour onto parchment paper and smoothe it out. Sprinkle with a little kosher or Malden salt.

20150201_123337[1]

Chill the pomegranate bark in the refrigerator or freezer. Serve and enjoy.

20150201_123658[1]

Another option, courtesy of my sister Libby, is pomegranate seeds, a light sprinkling of cinnamon, slivered toasted almonds, and sea salt.

Try it and share it with your friends.

Happy Tu B’shevat,

Laya

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