Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, members of his cabinet, and their large entourage have arrived in Jerusalem for talks; serious issues are to be discussed such as Italy’s aid to the Iranian satellite program.
Those most affected by the visit are the other guests and the staff of the King David Hotel,
and the cars stuck in traffic while the official motorcade is allowed to pass. So are the the people who live along the travel routes, who have to put up with the incessant honking from impatient drivers.
Ceremonial welcomes and state dinners have little to do with the real Jerusalem streets, but Prime Minister Berlusconi joined the masses by planting a tree in a JNF forest.
Tu Bishvat, the 15th day of the Hebrew month Shvat, which fell this year on January 30, has become a traditional time for school children across the country to plant trees in celebration of the “New Year of Trees”.
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens has begun planting.
After a mild winter and some recent rain, the gardens are beginning to come to life.
Colors are starting to appear not only in the Botanical Gardens,
but also in traffic circles
and nature strips around the city.
Not all the trees are budding, however.
The orchards at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel are prepared, but barren.
Agriculture in Jerusalem is mostly a thing of the past, but Kibbutz Ramat Rachel still has some fields in use.
Much of their land was sold to developers,
new roads and walkways in the area have recently been landscaped.
Also, many homes have beautiful plantings.
As the sign says, Tu Bishvat in Jerusalem 2010,
January 26-February 3
Something good is happening in Jerusalem!