Author Leslie Ann Stoffel
“I will bring them up to a good, expansive land”
I love Israel and I’m always looking for ways to connect with the land and the people. One night I was reading some posts on Facebook and I came across the Galilee Green page with a video showing the lush landscape and ancient olive trees dotting the hills. I was hooked and wanted to pack my bags and head for the hills that night! Reality held me back, for now, but I did contact the man in the video, Rabbi Shmuel Veffer, to find out about his life there with his wife Chana and their friends Nili and Arnie Abrahams. I wanted to know, how could I get some of their Olive Oil here in Canada?
Sharing Their Love and Bounty of the Land with the World
I found out that Rabbi Shmuel and Chana were from Canada too and now make their home in these blessed surroundings in the Galilee. They, and their friends, Nili & Arnie, share their love and bounty of the land with the world, not just through the Olive Oil but also through videos of their hikes in the surrounding hills, showing the ancient olive presses, highlights of harvesting the olives and historical sites in the area that connect their Jewish heritage with the land. The warmth, light and beauty of their lives shines through in the videos.
Sharing the health benefits of the Olive Oil is important to them too. Chana & Nili create cooking videos and post health tips on the Galilee Green web site. You can even sign up for weekly updates that include a recipe and happenings in the land.
Inside Israel, the television program, recently did a segment on the Galilee Green Olive Oil. Rabbi Shmuel explained the difference with their special brand of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The oil is made as quickly as possible after the olives have been harvested, within hours ideally. Galilee Green Olive Oil is a blend of three different varieties of olives giving it a fragrant and light flavor. Nili mentioned that the cooking options with the oil are endless!
Did you know?
Olive Oil may prevent stroke in older people, a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil (even one or two tablespoons a day) decreases the accumulation of hepatic triglycerides in the liver and therefore can slow or stop the accumulation of fat in the liver, using Olive Oil instead of butter or margarine is a much healthier alternative and cooking with it can make you feel full contributing to weight loss! These are just a few of the things I learned about Olive Oil from the Galilee Green health tips.
You can learn much more about olives, olive oil and the blessings of the land and even
The Significance of the Olive Tree in Israel & Jewish Life
Shira Cohen-Regev explains the biblical and historical signifigance of the Olive Tree in her Aish.com article:
“…And not to forget the olive leaves – the symbol of peace. In the Bible, the dove (יוֹנָה – yona) brought Noah an olive leaf after the flood, to show that the waters had abated and that calm had been restored. Since then, the olive leaf symbolizes the hope for peace, the hope that evil and destruction will be rid from the world, and that we can all live in safety.
And the dove came unto him at evening; and in her mouth was an olive leaf, freshly plucked; so Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. (Genesis 8:11)
For its national emblem, the State of Israel chose olive leaves placed around a menorah. The olive leaves symbolize peace (שָׁלוֹם – shalom), as this is our wish. Also, the symbol of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF, צְבָא הֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל – צה”ל) shows a sword wrapped by an olive branch – we seek peace, though we are prepared to defend against our enemies. The olive branch also symbolizes the light of Jewish wisdom, as represented by the menorah in the Temple.
May we all merit to live with the traits symbolized by the olive: peace and calmness, light and beauty, fruitfulness and longevity.”