In the defense of trees

Hearing about the trees burning in Israel, i felt the trees need someone to speak for them, to defend them against those who think that trees are also legitimate targets in a war of hate over land and so in their defense i recruited some writers whose words speak of how much we need trees. 

I heard that there are those who incite  on social media against Israeli trees but  trees have no nationality, they are not to be labeled and not to be targeted, in this absurd war of destruction, there are also beautiful deeds of cooperation between nations, between Arabs and Jews , Russia, Greece, Croatia sent airplanes to help extinguish the fires destroying the trees and all those animals living in the forest. 

Where i am , near the forest, trees are safe but let us remember those trees who give us life on earth, produce oxygen, provide for birds and animals and people , and let us protest their use by terrorists and unforgivable crime of using trees in war, because as the Native Americans say : “The earth is our mother, we must take care of her!” 

Here are some words in the defense of trees:שלום חנוך – כי האדם עץ השדה

מילים: נתן זך
עריכת הקליפ: אני
כִּי הָאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה
כְּמוֹ הָאָדָם גַּם הָעֵץ צוֹמֵחַ
כְּמוֹ הָעֵץ הָאָדָם נִגְדָּע
וַאֲנִי לֹא יוֹדֵעַ
אֵיפֹה הָיִיתִי וְאֵיפֹה אֶהְיֶה
כְּמוֹ עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה

כִּי הָאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה
כְּמוֹ הָעֵץ הוּא שׁוֹאֵף לְמַעְלָה
כְּמוֹ הָאָדָם הוּא נִשְׂרָף בָּאֵשׁ
וַאֲנִי לֹא יוֹדֵעַ
אֵיפֹה הָיִיתִי וְאֵיפֹה אֶהְיֶה
כְּמוֹ עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה

כִּי הָאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה
כְּמוֹ הָעֵץ הוּא צָמֵא לְמַיִם
כְּמוֹ הָאָדָם הוּא נִשְׁאָר צָמֵא
וַאֲנִי לֹא יוֹדֵעַ
אֵיפֹה הָיִיתִי וְאֵיפֹה אֶהְיֶה
כְּמוֹ עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה

אָהַבְתִּי וְגַם שָׂנֵאתִי
טָעַמְתִּי מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה
קָבְרוּ אוֹתִי בְּחֶלְקָה שֶׁל עָפָר
וּמַר לִי מַר לִי בַּפֶּה
כְּמוֹ עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה

“Because man is a tree of the field

like man the tree too grows,

like the tree man is cut down

and i don’t know where i was

and where i will be

like a tree.


Because man is a tree of the field

like the tree

he seeks to go higher ,

like man , he is burned in fire,

and i dont know where i was

and where i will be

like a tree.

I  had loved and i  had also hated,

i tasted from this and that ,

they buried me in the earth

and it tastes bitter to me

like a tree.


Because man is a tree of the field

like the tree he is thirsty for water

like man he stays thirsty

and i dont know where i was

and where i will be

like a tree.

I had loved and i had hated,

i tasted both this and that,

they buried me in the field

and it is bitter to taste

like a tree of the field

like a tree of the field .

Because man is like a tree of the field. ”

-Nathan Zach

-Translated from Hebrew by seagull




A person whose wisdom exceeds his good deeds is likened to a tree whose branches are numerous, but whose roots are few. The wind comes and uproots it and turns it upside down.

But a person whose good deeds exceed his wisdom is likened to a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are numerous. Even if all the winds of the world were to come and blow against it, they could not budge it from its place. (Avot 3:22)
A person can appear successful on the outside, with full branches and a fancy car. But if the roots are few — if there is little connection to one’s community and heritage — then life can send challenges that are impossible to withstand. A strong wind can turn the tree upside down. A person alone is vulnerable to trends and fads that may lead to despair and destruction.
But if a person — irrespective of wealth and status — is connected to community and heritage, then even if all the winds of the world were to come and blow against it, they could not budge it from its place.
Humans require a strong home base, where values and morals are absorbed, and which provides a supportive growth environment. In a world rife with negativity; we need a filter, a safe haven to return to and refresh. A community provides an impervious shield — the soil where we can be ourselves, make our mistakes, and still be accepted, loved and nourished.
Rain-water is absorbed into the ground and — through an elaborate system of roots — is carried throughout the trunk, branches and leaves of the tree. Without water, the tree will whither and die.
The Torah is compared to water, as Moses proclaims: May my teaching drop like the rain (Deut. 32:2). Both rain and Torah descend from the heavens and provide relief to the thirsty and parched. The Torah flows down from God and has been absorbed by Jews in every generation. Torah gives zest and vitality to the human spirit. A life based on Torah will blossom with wisdom and good deeds.
Deprived of water, a person will become dehydrated and ultimately disoriented, even to the point where they may not be able to recognize their own father. So too, without Torah, a person becomes disoriented — to the extent they may not even recognize their Father in Heaven, the Almighty God of Israel.
A tree needs air to survive. The air contains oxygen that a tree needs for respiration, and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. In an imbalanced atmosphere, the tree would suffocate and die.
The Torah (Genesis 2:7) states that God breathed life into the form of Man. The Hebrew word for breath — nesheema — is the same as the word for soul — neshama. Our spiritual life force comes, metaphorically, by way of air and respiration.
We use our senses of taste, touch and sight to perceive physical matter. (Even hearing involves the perception of sound waves.) But smelling is the most spiritual of senses, since the least physical matter is involved. As the Talmud says (Brachot 43b): Smell is that which the soul benefits from, and the does body not.
In the Holy Temple, the incense offering (sense of smell) was elevated to the once-a-year Yom Kippur offering in the Holy of Holies. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 93a) also says that when the Messiah comes, he will smell and judge — that is, he will use his spiritual sensitivity to determine the truth about complex matters.
A tree also needs fire — sunlight — to survive. The absorption of energy from the light activates the process of photosynthesis, a chemical reaction that is essential for the growth and health of the tree.
Humans also need fire — warmth — to survive. This is the warmth of friendship and community. People absorb the energy of peers, friends, family, neighbors and associates — and channel that into identity and actions. All the essential observances and ceremonies of Judaism are based on family and community — from the celebration of birth, through the attainment of maturity, marriage, education, and even death.
The power of community is illustrated in the following Talmudic story:
An old man was planting a tree. A young person passed by and asked, What are you planting?
A carob tree, the old man replied.
Silly fool, said the youth. Don’t you know that it takes 70 years for a carob tree to bear fruit?
That’s okay, said the old man. Just as others planted for me, I plant for future generations.



In various places, the Torah compares a person to a tree:
– A person is like the tree of a field… (Deut. 20:19)
– For as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people. (Isaiah 65:22)
– He will be like a tree planted near water… (Jeremiah 17:8)
Why the comparison?
A tree needs the four basic elements in order to survive — soil, water, air, and fire (sun). Human beings also require the same basic elements. Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”

― Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die

“Trees’re always a relief, after people.”
― David Mitchell, Black Swan Green

Roman Payne
“A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.”
― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

“Two Trees
A portion of your soul has been
entwined with mine
A gentle kind of togetherness, while
separately we stand.
As two trees deeply rooted in
separate plots of ground,
While their topmost branches
come together,
Forming a miracle of lace
against the heavens.”
― Janet Miles, Images of Women in Transition

Dorothy Parker
“I never see that prettiest thing-
A cherry bough gone white with Spring-
But what I think, “How gay ‘twould be
To hang me from a flowering tree.”
― Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep As A Well: Collected Poems

“When trees burn, they leave the smell of heartbreak in the air.”
― Jodi Thomas, Welcome to Harmony

Rainer Maria Rilke
“Look: the trees exist; the houses
we dwell in stand there stalwartly.
Only we
pass by it all, like a rush of air.
And everything conspires to keep quiet
about us,
half out of shame perhaps, half out of
some secret hope.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies
tags: existence, hope, secret, shame, trees 60 likes Like

Sometimes I fall
And feel myself slowly wilt and die,
But then I suddenly spring back on my feet
To go play in the sun outside.
I am no different than the weather,
The planets or the trees;
For there do not always have to be reasons
For the seasons turning inside of me.
The magnetism that swirls
In the sky, land, and sea
Are the exact same currents found twirling
In the electric ocean within me.
I am a moving vessel of energy.
And if my emotions do not
Flow up, down,
Within and around,
Then I am not alive.”
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Santosh Kalwar
“All our wisdom is stored in the trees.”
― Santosh Kalwar

Ibrahim Nasrallah – إِبراهيم نصر الله
“بعد أيام اكتشفتُ أن الشجرَ كالبشر ، حين تُضيَّع الفرصة الأولى للقائك بهم .. حين تترك أحدهم خلفك ، قد لا تعثر علية ، ثانية ، أمامك”
― Ibrahim Nasrallah – إِبراهيم نصر الله, أقل من عدو أكثر من صديق: السيرة الطائرة

Max Ehrmann
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.”
― Max Ehrmann

Thomas Hardy
“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”
― Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree

Jay Woodman
“The world is a wide place where we stumble like children learning to walk. The world is a bright mosaic where we learn like children to see, where our little blurry eyes strive greedily to take in as much light and love and colour and detail as they can.

The world is a coaxing whisper when the wind lips the trees, when the sea licks the shore, when animals burrow into earth and people look up at the sympathetic stars. The world is an admonishing roar when gales chase rainclouds over the plains and whip up ocean waves, when people crowd into cities or intrude into dazzling jungles.

What right have we to carry our desperate mouths up mountains or into deserts? Do we want to taste rock and sand or do we expect to make impossible poems from space and silence? The vastness at least reminds us how tiny we are, and how much we don’t yet understand. We are mere babes in the universe, all brothers and sisters in the nursery together. We had better learn to play nicely before we’re allowed out….. And we want to go out, don’t we? ….. Into the distant humming welcoming darkness.”
― Jay Woodman, SPAN

Israelmore Ayivor
“If you really want to eat, keep climbing. The fruits are on the top of the tree. Stretch your hands and keep stretching them. Success is on the top, keep going.”
― Israelmore Ayivor
Maya Angelou
“When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”



Hermann Hesse
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte


About seagullsea

a seagull flying over the great ocean of life observing.
This entry was posted in healing, Israel, life lessons, Native Americans, nature, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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