Blessing Israel-Genesis 12: 2-3


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Ellen Miller Braun has epitomized the symbol of Israel by creating a Sabra Cactus plant using the Biblical commandment for the nations to Bless the “Apple of His Eye”-the Jewish People. Like Israel, at first glance the land seems to be mostly desert without much inspiration. A second look shows us the beauty that is the Holy Land. Just as Ellen’s micro calligraphy cactus starts with a simple green base, so is Israel’s beginning simple. We follow this detailed micro calligraphy piece up the thorn studded cactus stalk to the beautiful and intricate yellow and red flower.
Similarly, Israel’s history blooms with complexity. Like the cactus with rich red fruit that upon taste is sweet, yet full of seeds, this 2000 year old history also branches out. During 2000 years of both willing and unwilling wandering, the Jewish people spread to all four corners of the earth, planting Judaism and G-d’s sweet seed of knowledge, light and the hope of world redemption.

Israel has a long and tragic history of struggle trying to blossom in the harsh desert of political and religious strife. But just as the Sabra Cactus has learned to survive in Eretz Israel, so have the Jewish people learned to thrive in the Land Blessed to them by G-d. However, it is not just the Jewish people who are blessed, all are welcome to receive G-d’s Blessing as it states in Genesis 12:2-3 All the peoples of the earth can receive God’s blessings if they are obedient to God’s call in Genesis 12: 2-3. “And I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless you and curse him that curses you and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

May your love of Israel bear beautiful fruits for you and your loved ones. Amen