Pine Cone And John Muir Quote Postcard
A digital rendering of a pine cone from Ma'alot-Tarshiha in northern Israel, the Galilee, superimposed on an old paper background, along with the quote: "Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish." -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914) The Aleppo Pine (Pinus halpensis), also known as the Jerusalem Pine is the only species of wild pine that grows in Israel. It is commonly accepted that the tree now called “pine” is the Biblical “oil tree”, as mentioned in Isaiah XLI, 19: “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree…” It is also mentioned in I Kings VI, 23: “And inside the sanctuary he made two cherubs of oil wood, each ten cubits high.” The oil tree is also mentioned verses 31 and 33 of the same chapter, as well as in Nechemia VIII, 15. The oil tree features close to other impressive trees in the description of the vision of the redemption, in the blossoming of the desert and the arid land. In the Mishnah and other rabbinic literature, the oil tree is mentioned as a tree that was used for kindling the beacons that were lighted to announce a new month. The pine, in its present name, is mentioned in the Bible just once, in the Book of Isaiah XLIV, 14: “… and takes the cypress and the oak, which he strengthens for himself among the trees of the forest; he plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.” There is a mention of pine trees in the Mishnah in the context of the various trees which were used for burning the “red heifer”. There are also those who hold that pines were among the trees used for kindling the beacons to announce a new month. The Aleppo pine blossoms and flowers in the spring. The male cones are shed after the flowering while the female cones develop into fruit. The cone stays closed on the tree until a heavy sharav [hamsin], when it opens and its seeds are scattered.