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The Land of Seven Species

Welcome to OUTstanding Israel, and this time we got some amazing and tasty information that will make your mouth water and be amazed by what this small middle eastern country has to offer. We are talking about the seven species and attributes that are signature to Israel that make us proud, healthy and fruitful and most importantly, describe each Jewish man and woman and their personality traits. Come on a small journey with us to explore the seven most notable and iconic species that grow and flourish here in the holy land of Israel." "For the Lord, your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey." (Deuteronomy 8:7-9), and these are the species that we will talk about and you will have to come and try and taste!

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Vine
The vine tree, representing Israel's spiritual state and harmony, is one of the three most important and signature trees of Israel. If we look at the religious aspect of this plant there is obviously a high recognition of the Geffen, the vine. In Judges 9 parable the vine is described to be the tree that abolishes responsibility of leadership among "the trees". In Psalm 80, Israel is described as the vine that the Lord brought out of Egypt and in Jeremiah 2:21, God says he planted Israel as a "noble vine" and the "seed of highest quality", where the fruit of the vine produces wine which is the symbol of joy. As for the present time, Israel is full of vineyards, some in the northern district such as the Golan Heights and some in the southern part and the Jerusalem area as well. There are dozens of wineries and quality wines that are produced in this small country, Recanati Winery, Bazelet HaGolan, Tishbi, Barkan, Psagot and many more wineries that you can visit and indulge in the beauty of nature and the great wines. Some famous and recognizable wines are Shiraz and Malbec and the rest you will have to come to the gorgeous vineyards and taste for yourself!
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Fig
The fruit that and the tree that represents perseverance, after the vine tree it is one of the most mentioned trees in the bible along with the vine. The fig is also said to be found in ancient Egypt and remains had been uncovered dating back to the Neolithic age. The importance of the fig tree is mentioned many times and until today it is a very common tree however still very respected and has a very specific time that it grows and produces the fruit to be eaten. Most of the fig trees that are grown in Israel are cultivated in banks of streams and near springs and are to be found as some of the most beautiful trees with large leaves, many branches and as the bible says, probably full of knowledge and wisdom! 
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Olive
The tree that represents the foundation, the olive tree has many symbolic attributes and symbolism to the country of Israel. We all connect the symbol of an olive tree branch as an offer for peace and harmony, and the famous olive branch in the story of Noah's ark carried by a dove in Genesis 8:11. The beauty in the olive tree and it's symbolism is that it is not only mentioned in the Bible or connected to Judaism but also to ancient Greeks, Christians, and Arabs. The tree itself represents peace and friendship in all religions. The olive tree, in general, is a very strong tree that survives even on poor and stony soil which is a beautiful aspect of the tree. In Israel specifically there are thousands of acres all across the country of olive trees, from north to south, even olive trees in the middle of Tel-Aviv and backyards and of course the production of olive oil and olive oil products as well as delicious preserved olives of all sorts that are found in the market are a very common thing. Olive oil is used in almost all of Israeli and Arab cooking as well as Greek, and no wonder, it is a delicious and productive little plant.
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Wheat
Wheat is the species that represents kindness, however, what is mentioned and seen everywhere in the bible and in both Jewish and Christian religions. Not only it is written about but also painted in early Christian religious paintings and has lots of symbolism.  Wheat represents resurrection, the cycle of seasons and the cycle of life, it also is a symbol of penitence and modesty, of course, it depends on the way it is depicted. The history of wheat is long and vast, ancient civilizations have been growing and using wheat for flour and dough and it has been used as a staple and main source of food in many civilizations and al throughout history. In Israel the wheat industry is a very large one and one of the main agricultural crops grown in the country, so come and check out our great flour, pastries, and bread, you won't be disappointed!
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Barley
Barley is the attribute and species that represent severity, and besides this cereal grain being very healthy, it is also said to be the main food of the poor, but hey, apparently the poor were pretty healthy back in the biblical days if barley was even valued less than wheat. Either way, barley is mentioned in many places in the bible, in the book of Ruth for example and it is until today the main crop grown in Bethlehem. Barley is described to be a fodder back in the biblical days and was a staple food. As of today, barley production in northern Israel is still at large, however, barley grain over 6,000-year-old was found near Masada in the southern part of Israel and it tells a lot about Israel's agricultural history. 
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Pomegranate
This rich and absolutely beautiful fruit has a very deep and important meaning to the Jewish people and to Israel. First of all, pomegranate corresponds to humility, however, it also represents righteousness and believed to have 613 seeds just like the 613 mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah. Another interesting fact is that pomegranate is usually depicted in paintings in the hand of Mary, mother of Jesus. Besides that, the pomegranate is one of the key foods that are consumed and present on the Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year's) table. It also symbolizes fruitfulness due to the many seeds. The amazing benefits of the pomegranate are very vast, it is a great antioxidant, helps to lower cholesterol, great for heart disease and even cancer treatment by boosting the immune system. In Israel, you will find the pomegranate and pomegranate juice very common during its peak season which starts around September with the time for the Jewish New Year. Wherever you are, make sure to include some pomegranate in your diet!
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Dates
Israel is very well known and gifted with amazing dates, and it is pretty obvious because it is easy to associate Israel and the hot climate to palm trees, on which most dates grow. Dates resemble royalty, besides that, date palms represent beauty, peace, and fertility. The date palm is believed to be the oldest fruit-bearing tree on our planet and is depicted in many ancient paintings and artifacts. As for Israel, in Ezekiel 47:12 in the old testament, date palm trees are described to be growing along the sandy river banks and used in many ways. Along with the other seven species of Israel, dates are one of the major exports in Israel, with the most popular Medjool date, which is considered the kind of all dates. The harvesting begins in July and ends in October, however in Israel dates can be bought all year round and are the highest sales are around the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Tu B'Shvat and Passover. Being the oldest fruit, super sweet and a great energy booster, it is definitely a great pride to Israel and another great reason to explore this small but ancient Mediterranean gem!
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