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Learn Hebrew: Spring Renewal

March 27, 2012 | by Shira Cohen-Regev

Revisiting the Carmel Forest fire, at this Passover season.

Passover when the Jewish nation was born at the Exodus from Egypt, and is perennially known as the time of birth and renewal. The Torah specifies that Passover must come out in “springtime” (aviv - אביב) to keep this message alive. Many symbols of the Passover seder – e.g. karpas (כרפס) - are green signs of renewal.

In Israel, spring is in the air – a time of regenerating, reviving, and blooming. This year we enjoyed a "real winter" with lots of rain (גשם). Our Middle Eastern soil has been absorbing the water, and the level of the Sea of Galilee (ים כנרת) has risen. The land of Israel is blooming.

Regenerating tree in Carmel ForestYet the most fascinating and exciting area is the Carmel Mountain. A bit more than a year had passed since the great fire (שְׂרֵפָה) of the Carmel Forest (כרמל). This fire claimed 44 lives and destroyed 1.5 million trees. This fire burned nearly half of the 37,000 acres of the Carmel Forest Reserve and is expected that the rehabilitation process will take dozens of years.

Forest (יער) experts suggested leaving the area alone for a year, to let nature initiate the rehabilitation process. Only recently, some gentle actions have been taken such as planting trees and clearing paths. Each step is being carefully monitored to preserve the natural balance and create a healthy, attractive forest suitable for recreation.

To avoid future fires, the Jewish National Fund (קרן קיימת לישראל) has been improving existing firebreaks and making new ones around communities, recreation areas and roads. The forests that border on the burned area have been opened to the public, so people can enjoy the unburned forest sections safely, and observe how the ecosystem gradually returns to itself.

Traveling in the area shows the balance (אזון) and coexistence of burned trees and blooming flowers, of healthy new trunks evolved out of burned ones, and of the persistent springtime filling the air.

Carmel fire victims' monumentRelated Vocabulary Words

Translation: regeneration, revival, renewal
Transliteration: hit'chadshut

Translation: rehabilitation
Transliteration: shikum

Translation: balance
Transliteration: izun

Related Hebrew Name

Carmel is a place of vineyards and orchards; it also means roasted grains. Carmel is the name of the mountain ridge where the city of Haifa is located today. In the Bible, Mount Carmel is where Elijah the prophet defeated the priests of idolatry (1- Kings 18:20).

Hebrew Word Search – Tifzoret

See if you can find all the words in the puzzle below:

Hebrew Word Search

Wishing you a blooming and peaceful spring
אָבִיב פּוֹרֵחַ וְשָׁלֵו
Aviv pore'ach ve’shalev



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