The Seven Species and their relevance to sustainable agriculture in Israel today

The Seven Species and their relevance to sustainable agriculture in Israel today

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Abstract
Sacred to Ju daism and at the center of modern Jewish and Israeli holiday traditions is the plant set known as the Seven Species. These plants were also crucial to the agricultural systems of Biblical times supplying more than 90% of the locally produced food. To this day the Seven Species have not been surpassed as sustainable and ecologically sound crops for the arid areas of the Middle East. They are an interesting mix of species: two grains: wheat and barley; two deciduous fruit trees: the pomegranate and the fig; one palm: the hardy date; and a Mediterranean evergreen tree, the olive. The seventh of the Seven Species is the vine. From these plants according to the 104th Psalm came bread, fruit, oil "to make the face shine" and wine "to gladden the heart" – in essence almost all the food and drink that was raised in the area.
 

 

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Publish date: 
March, 2015
Pages: 
20-26

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