Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible~Flowers~Rose of Sharon חבצלת chabatstseleth

“The Rose of Sharon” is a flower of uncertain identity mentioned in English language translations of the Bible. The word in question is the Hebrew word חבצלת  chăḇaṣṣeleṯ, which has been uncertainly linked to the words בצל  beṣel, meaning ‘bulb’, and חמץ   hāmaṣ, which is understood as meaning either ‘pungent’ or ‘splendid(The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon). The name first appears in 1611, when it was used in the King James Version of the Bible. According to an annotation at Song of Solomon 2.1 by the translation committee of the New Revised Standard Version, this is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for “crocus”. Different scholars have suggested that the biblical “Rose of Sharon” is one of the following plants:

  • A “kind of crocus” (“Sharon”, Harper’s Bible Dictionary) or a “crocus that grows in the coastal plain of Sharon” (New Oxford Annotated Bible);
  • Tulipa montana, “a bright red tulip-like flower . . . today prolific in the hills of Sharon” (“rose”, Harper’s Bible Dictionary);
  • Tulipa agenensis, the Sharon tulip, a species of tulip suggested by a few botanists; or
  • Lilium candidum, more commonly known as the Madonna lily, a species of lily suggested by some botanists, though likely in reference to the “lily of the valleys” mentioned in the second part of Song of Solomon 2.1.                                                                         
  • Hibiscus syriacus is a widely cultivated ornamental shrub in the genus Hibiscus whose common names includes Rose of Sharon (especially in North America).

The Hebrew word chabatstseleth, rendered “rose” (“autumn crocus”), is supposed by some to mean the oleander, by others the sweet-scented narcissus, the tulip, or the daisy; but nothing definite can be affirmed regarding it.

The “rose of Sharon” is probably the cistus or rock-rose, (Cistus landaniferus – also known as Labdanum or Rock Rose). Several species abound in Israel and the Middle East. (Do not confuse labdanum with laudanum; they are two different substances. Laudanum is the name for a number of opium preparations originally obtained from alchemists.)

Cistus is a small, sticky shrub native to the Mediterranean and Middle East. The essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the leaves. It is pale yellow-orange with a strong, sweet, dry-herbaceous aroma. Its odor effect is generally perceived as warming and restorative. Cistus oil is used in many skin care blends. Blend it with German Chamomile to treat inflamed skin conditions. Blend with Green Myrtle for care for aging skin (suggested by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt in Advanced Aromatherapy).  It is excellent for mature skin care and for firming and toning. Blends well with: Bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, lavender, juniper, oak moss, opopanax (sweet myrrh), patchouli, pine, sandalwood, vetiver.  Besides the steam distilled oil from the leaves and twigs of the cistus plant you can also find a solvent extracted labdanum absolute from the crude resin of the plant on the market, this is very thick and should be warmed in the palm of your hands before blending in oils.

Safety Data: Avoid while pregnant.

Roses are the Community of Israel, in Jewish thought and symbolism.

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the Excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the Excellency of our God. Isaiah 35:1&2

Symbolically, The Rose of Sharon as crocus says “youthful and gladness;” as a red tulip-like flower says “declaration of love;” and as a Madonna Lily, purity and sweetness.

Flowers of the Field, Rose of Sharon, Lily of the Valley . . . mysterious plants found in Scripture. While the true meaning of what the actual flowers were during the ancient days, we know when we speak “of love” that a rose,    is a rose,    is a rose . . . . . . Is a rose.


Copyright 2008   Precious Oil  ~   A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible   by Apothecary Cynthia Hillson     page 29

Precious Oils Biblical Flower Study ~ Part One ~ Flower of Flowers

I wanted to post this “word study” on flower today.  I find it fitting as tonight begins the minor Jewish Spring holiday of  Tu Bishvat. The focus of  this Jewish holiday includes ecology projects, tree planting, family activities and a mini-Seder.

The word flower(s) and its blossoms and blooms can be found in Scripture in these Hebrew words.

H6525  פּרח  perach  peh’-rakh From H6524; calyx (natural or artificial); generally bloom: – blossom, bud, flower.

H6524  פּרח  pa^rach  paw-rakh’     A primitive root; to break forth as a bud, that is, bloom; generally to spread; specifically to fly (as extending the wings); figuratively to flourish: –  X abroad, X abundantly, blossom, break forth (out), bud, flourish, make fly, grow, spread, spring (up).

H5328  נצּה  nitstsa^h  nits-tsaw’ Feminine of H5322; a blossom: – flower.

H5322  נץ   ne^ts   nayts From H5340; a flower (from its brilliancy); also a hawk (from its flashing speed): – blossom, hawk.

H5340  נצץ  na^tsats  naw-tsats’ A primitive root; to glare, that is, be bright colored: – sparkle.

H6733  ציצה  tsı^ytsa^h  tsee-tsaw’ Feminine of H6731; a flower: – flower.

H6731  צץ    ציץ  tsı^yts  tsits  tseets, tseets From H6692; properly glistening, that is, a burnished plate; also a flower (as bright colored); a wing (as gleaming in the air): – blossom, flower, plate, wing.

H6692  צוּץ   tsu^ts  tsoots A primitive root; to twinkle, that is, glance; by analogy to blossom (figuratively flourish): – bloom, blossom, flourish, shew self.

We also have a related word that I’m including in this study as it pertains to flourishing and glistening.

H6692צוּץ     tsu^ts  tsoots A primitive root; to twinkle, that is, glance; by analogy to blossom (figuratively flourish): – bloom, blossom, flourish, shew self.

As we study “flowers, buds, blossoms, calyxes” we learn that we can “glisten, shine and sparkle”. As the Lord described to Moses how to construct the menorah He was explicit that the branches have buds and blossoms. We also find that the flowers of our lives are flourishing and glistening. On the other hand we are often reminded that our life fades like a flower or the grass; so “flower” while you are alive.   🙂

A few other interesting thoughts that I would like to point out in this study is that the tzit-tzit (fringes on the tallit) worn by Jewish people is found in the word “flower”. The wearing of the tzit-tzitz it also a reminder to obey all that He has commanded you (us) to do this day. To top it off the Lord uses the expression of flower in the final adornment of Aaron’s garments. The gold plate is attached to his tiara (the linen turban) and engraved with “Holiness unto the Lord” ; this also is “tzit-tzit”. Let this be a reminder that as priests of the Lord that our thoughts be sealed with “flowers”.

The cover of my Precious Oils Study book is a picture of a palm tree that I took in En Gedi, Israel a few years ago. I chose the following Scripture to correspond with it.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. Psalm 92:12 & 13

Here we find the word flourish. It suggests that we should “break forth like a bud in the court yard of our God”. I love courtyards. Today I got a little insight why most of the courtyards that I have ever sat in had an abundance of roses and other flowers. They are always a delightful break from the day. Oh my, aren’t we ready for some time in the courtyard with our Beloved to share the beauty of the fragrances of the flowers as they bud, bloom and blossom?

Writing a blog isn’t supposed to be like writing a book; the experts tell us to “keep your blog short”; something I am finding hard to do today. But, please bear with me just a little longer. I must finish this teaching with another thought for the Fragrant Bride of Yeshua. Many years ago I tagged her as “A Watchman, an Intercessor and a Refined Woman”.  As I found time to write this blog I linked the Watchman portion of her life to the following Scripture that, my Friend, I’m calling “flower of all flowers”.

And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. And thou shall write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shall lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you. And Moses spoke unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shall quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not. And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he. And the children of Israel spoke unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish. Whosoever comes any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?

Numbers 17:1-13 KJV

In Numbers 17:8 we find three of the four Hebrew words that I am highlighting for this study can be found.

And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, (paw-rakh) and brought forth buds, (peh’-rakh) and bloomed blossoms (tsoots and tseets, tseets) and yielded almonds.

Almonds? Yes almonds and with great significance both in the Hebrew word and the nature of the plant.

The almond tree is the earliest tree to bloom in the spring; its flowers come before its leaves. The almond flowers resemble small roses and are white to pink in color. The word in Hebrew is  שׁקד  sha^qe^d   shaw-kade’. It is the Strong’s word H8247 with the root word H8245  שׁקד  sha^qe^d  shaw-kad’. The root word definition says  to be alert, that is, sleepless; hence to be on the lookout (whether for good or ill): – hasten, remain, wake, watch (for). Almond trees have been known to continue to flower even when a storm come in the early spring. Sweet Almond oil is a favorite carrier oil used in aromatherapy, skin care and massage oils. In the Middle East you will find green almonds at the farmer’s markets. The green almond has fuzzy skin and a white, soft kernel inside. It is eaten as a fresh fruit as a spring celebration.

When we look at Aaron’s rod it had buds, blossoms and FRUIT! The fact of his rod having all three on one rod was a miracle. It also is something that as a Priest in the Kingdom of God we have for our example. The beginning of our ministries is a time to bud; the middle is to blossom and the end of should it bring forth good works (fruit). Selah.

In the world of aromatherapy many believe that the exotic flower of ylang ylang, to be the “flower of all flowers”. Ylang ylang is a strong and  intoxicating aroma where too much can be overwhelming. The fragrant qualities of this intensely sweet flower is often associated with weddings and honeymoons thus its title of “flower of flowers“.

Today I want to change the term “flower of all flowers” to the almond. The Fragrant Bride can be being likened to an almond blossom; alert and ready. Even the shape of the almond indicates watchfulness; thus I am suggesting that the almond be  the “Flower of all Flowers“.

And with that thought I’ll close this blog and encourage you to bud, bloom, flower and bring forth good fruit as a Watchman in the Garden of God.

Look for Part Two of “Flowers” Soon!

With Love,

Apothecary Cynthia Hillson

Coming soon . . . Shemen Tova ~ Essential oils from the four corners of the world.  

The Ancient Secrets of Keterot ~ Part Two

The Holy Incense  קטרת   Ketoret

Ketoret is the transliteration of the Hebrew word קטרת which is translated into English as Ketoret (or Qetoret); it means incense. It is referred in the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish writings of the Siddur, Mishnah and Talmud.  It is also referred to as the HaKetoret Kodesh (the Holy incense).

Ketoret was offered on the golden altar of incense during the time of the Mishkan (The Tabernacle in the Wilderness) and the first and second Temple periods in Jerusalem. The Ketoret was part of the daily offerings and burned twice a day. Today there isn’t a Temple in Jerusalem, but the prayer of remembering the incense is part of the daily traditional morning prayers.

It is You, Hasehm, our God, before Whom our forefathers burned the incense-spices in the time when the Holy Temple stood, as You commanded them through Moses Your prophet, as it is written in Your Torah.

The footnotes of The Complete Artscroll Siddur tell us that Arizal wrote that the careful recitation of this section (the ketoret) helps bring one to repentance. It goes on to say that Hirsch comments that the ketoret symbolizes Israel’s duty to make all its actions pleasing to God.

I wrote the following symbolic meaning of Ketoret in my books Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible (2008) and Ketoret ~ The Holy Incense (2009).


Symbolic Meaning

Sweet Spices

“Joyful” (to be fragrant in all things


“To fall or to drop”;  freedom


“to roar or to groan”; the anointing is Holy and will roar and flow out of our hearts



“fatty or rich” It’s the”sap”  from a broken shrub



“to be pure and white”


The Vignette of The Holy Incense ~ By Cynthia Hillson

© Precious Oils 2008 ~ All Rights Reserved

To be a sweet-smelling sacrifice daily we must be broken and fallen. It is in the times of prayer and worship that the ability to intercede for the freedom of others can flow from our hearts. The joy and sweet fragrance allows us to be pure day and night. It is the holy and acceptable offering of our service to the King.

Stay Tuned for additional thoughts on Ketoret. In Part Three of Ketoret I will expound on the present day health properties of each ingredient. In Part Four and Five, I will expound on the 11 ingredient list of the symbolic meanings, the health properties of the ingredients and the vignette.


Apothecary Cynthia Hillson

Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible~Flowers~Lily שׁוּשַׁן shuwshan



The flowers and plants named in the Bible are more than likely not the flowers that we associate them with. The debate of the proper identification of lily is our example.

Although every flower may possess, secondarily, its own specific symbolism, for all that, flowers generally are symbols of the passive principle.  The calix of a flower, like the chalice, is the receptacle of heavenly instrumentality, among the symbols of which dew and rain should be mentioned.  Furthermore, the way flowers grow up out of earth and water symbolizes manifestation rising out of these passive elements. …  The allegorical use of flowers is endless. Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols, 1969

In the shape of a trumpet, “Lily” in Scripture could be one of many different varieties: lily of the valley, hyacinth, anemone, crocus, narcissus or mountain tulip. No matter how the debate ends, most all agree that the lily is called Shoshanah.   

The word Shoshanna finds it’s root in the Hebrew word shesh, meaning six, which refers to the six petals of all the above named flowers. In the spring the hillsides of Israel put on all their glory after a long– drab winter, the spark of life in the beauty of the flowers is a welcome site. Take note that the six petal flowers just as the Magen David (Star or Shield of David) is also six-sided.

Modern day aromatherapy is unable to capture the lily of valleys into an essential oil, perhaps because parts of the Lily of the Valley flowers are highly poisonous. What you normally find on the commercial market is a synthetic oil that mirrors the fragrance of the little white bell flower that often grown on the shady side of older homes. No therapeutic or benefits can be associated with the synthetic oil of lily of the valley. Narcissus oil can be obtained, at a premium price, and is used in high-end perfumes.

In the Hebrew root word of “lily” we find the best description of flowers: to rejoice and be exuberant.  Lily of the Valley says “Return to Happiness” in the Language of Flowers.

The red rose, as we know it, was not an ancient part of the landscape. In the Bible, Shoshanna is an image of feminine beauty, especially in the Song of Songs allegory as the Lover compares his Beloved “as a lily (narcissus) among thorns.”

Scripture verses (KJV)

And the chapiters (the capital crown) that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. . . And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished. I Kings 7:19&22

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.  As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Song of Solomon 2:1-2

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow (blossom) as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.  His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Hosea 14:4-7


Copyright 2008 ~ All Rights Reserved

Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible    pg 28

By Apothecary Cynthia Hillson ~ Precious Oils Up On the Hill

Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible ~ Flowers in Scripture



Wild in fields Psalms 103:15

Cultivated in gardens Solomon 6:2,3


Beautiful Matthew 6:29

Sweet Solomon 5:13

Evanescent Psalms 103:16; Isaiah 40:8

Appear in spring Solomon 2:12


The lily Hosea 14:5; Matthew 6:28

The lily of the valley Solomon 2:1

The rose Isaiah 35:1

The rose of Sharon Solomon 2:1

Of the grass 1 Peter 1:24

Garlands of, used in worship of idols Acts 14:13


Golden candlestick Exodus 25:31,33;       2 Chronicles 4:21

Sea of brass 1 Kings 7:26;    2 Chronicles 4:5

Wood work of the temple 1 Kings 6:18,29,33,35


The graces of Christ

His checks as a bed of spices, sweet flowers: his lips lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh.  Song of Songs 5:13

Shortness of man’s life As for man, his days are as grass;  as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.  Psalms 103:15 Job 14:2

Kingdom of Israel Isaiah 28:1

Glory of man 1 Peter 1:24

Rich men James 1:10,11

Source: Torrey’s Topical Textbook

Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible ~ Intro

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:

he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Psalms 92:12

Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible is rapidly going around the world. Little did I dream when I wrote this in 2008 that my book would become the platform for sermons, songs and conferences. All I can say is WOW!

This year Precious Oils Up On the Hill will be 20 years old. Another WOW! I’m currently working on a new book in celebration of our upcoming anniversary. But before it is ready I want to be able to begin to use this blog to upload pages of my Precious Oils Study.

Fragrant plants of the  Bible were not only for cosmetic and medicinal use they were of spiritually significance.  In my Precious Oils Study I share Scripture, history, symbolic, health uses and more.

I designed Precious Oils: A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible, as an apothecary would classify their oils; by category. Here you will find a sampling of Biblical plants in nine categories;  fruits, flowers, herbs, leaves, seeds, roots, spices, woods (trees) and resins. This book is a wonderful addition to your library when you are looking for a scripture about the plants of the Bible. In addition I package a companion book, The Precious Oils of the Bible; Ancient Secrets – Modern Uses,  where I describe 13 Biblical plants and how to use them today as essential oils and highlight olive oil, which is truly the most precious oil of the Bible.

Keep checking back as I upload the pages of Precious Oils ~ A Study of the Fragrances of the Bible. If you desire to order your own copy it is available from Amazon. com


Apothecary Cynthia Hillson

The jewelry supplies are delivered to the family in Be’er Sheva

What an honor to be the “pigeon” to help the family in the Negev with their jewelry making business. Here is a picture of the earrings they’ve made with the jewelry items I took and a note from the recipient.

I’m sorry it took me so long to answer; it was hard for me to find the words that can express what I feel, I still don’t realize this blessing that fell upon us… Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! It’s amazing to see God’s mysterious ways, how he always takes care of and provides all the needs of his children.

A few words about us, I live with my mom, we have no relatives in Israel besides the brothers and sisters in Yeshua. My mom works as a nanny, she takes care of elderly people. I’m a pharmacy student at Ben-Gurion University, I’ve started the last year of the study a month ago; I work at a partial job.

On Fridays there’s a market day here, we have a stand where we sell jewels made of wood or stones, most of the jewels my mom makes herself, specially the earrings and the bracelets. This income is important to us, because only the monthly salary is not enough for living. Miraculously, the stones and the beads that you’ve sent us are exactly the kind that we work with, so we’re able to make beautiful things out of it 🙂

May God bless you for the big loving hearts that you have, for the donation, for the efforts you’ve put to deliver the jewelry to Israel for people you don’t ever know, and for your prayers. May God’s love shine upon you, fill your homes with joy, your hands with good deeds, and your mouths with praise. We pray for you.

Thank you to everyone who gives of their finances and prayers to my ministry so that I could take the jewelry supplies and “help teach them to fish”  in late Oct 2010. We are truly seeing the “desert bloom” by bringing love and encouragement to Israel.

I encourage you  to join me in 2011 on a comfort journey to Israel. It won’t be a “regular tour” but it will be one where you will meet people and take love and comfort to them. For more information please go to

My book in the Old City of Jerusalem and Other venues

While I was in Israel in 2010 I had a request from a shopkeeper friend in the Old City of Jerusalem. He asked me to bring him more of my Esther’s Days of Purification; he had sold out of the ones I had left for him. On my second journey I took him the requested number of books along with dozens of packages of the Oil of Myrrh, The Six Sweet Spices and Esther’s Anointing Oil that correspond with the teaching.  

Before I left Israel I stopped by his store; it was packed with people so I just hung out until the tourists had made their purchases. Salle, the store owner came up to me and said “You are going to be famous.”  With a puzzled expression on my face I said “What?” He repeated his words. Then he said a woman from South Africa loved my book and bought 20 of them and all the oils that I had left at the store. Then he said “Send me more.” So, more of Esther’s Days of Purification and Esther’s Oils are on their way to the Old City. But, if you aren’t in Jerusalem and want to know where you can purchase Esther’s Days of Purification you can find it at the following places.

Messianic Jewish Resources International Catalog. Book

 and my Deluxe Gift Box from Amazon

My web site Book and Gift Sets

Remember Purim is March 20 & 21 this year. Discounts for ministries and bookstores are available. Please e-mail me for more information.



Notes From Israel ~ January 12, 2011

 What an honor to be in Israel during this season. I arrived on January 2nd. There are many facets to my 25th journey to Israel. In this blog I would like to share with you about the wonderful rain that we had on Friday January 7th, the Shabbat and the journey up north to the Carmel region where the devastating fire burned thousands of acres of forest in December.

I was at the Western Wall just as Shabbat was beginning. From Succoth to Pesach (fall to spring) is the season that we pray for rain. Israel is desperate for rain. It’s been about ten years since she has received adequate rainfall to replenish the main water source, the Galilee (a/k/a the Kinneret). The lack of rain over the years greatly contributed to the recent fires. Each drop of rain is more precious than gold. Although there hasn’t been an abundance of the needed rain, there was a rejoicing last week when the heavens opened with this life-giving source. Please continue to pray for rain for Israel.

On this picture you will see the raindrops, although it looked like snow. It was cold enough to snow and would have been as wonderful.

The next day, Saturday January 8th, we traveled up north. Our group visited a wonderful Druze village in the Carmel region where we stood in the former residence of Naphtali Herz Imber, an English poet originally from Bohemia who penned Israel’s National Anthem;  HaTikvah (“The Hope”). Words to Hatikvah were written in  1886 by Naphtali Herz Imber. The melody was written by Samuel Cohen, an immigrant from Moldavia. Cohen actually based the melody on a musical theme found in Bedrich Smetana’s “Moldau.”.

Today this historical building where Hatikvah was written is a Druze Memorial in honor of over 350 Druze who lost their lives while serving in the Israeli army.  Our group was deeply moved as we sang Hatikvah. In a sense it was a preparation to what we were going to observe next; the Carmel Forest to witness the results of the fire.

I don’t have words to tell you how we felt. Perhaps the words of our guide, Yoel, said it best. “I was fearful for Israel when I got news of the fire.” Of the pictures I took, this one captured what we were feeling. I took this from the bus and was surprised how the reflection of how Esther’s face told the story.

Copyright Cynthia Hillson Jan 2011

And with this I will close with these thoughts and the lyrics from Hatikvah.

As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

There are many, many organizations around the world collecting aid to help Israel, especially at this time during their loss. On Saturday we were a bit surprised. Our group had assembled a large number of gifts for the orphanage that was very near to the fire. Posted outside their entrance was a container filled with donations and a sign. The sign said they were overwhelmed with donations and they don’t need anything. Please take items from the container and the ones you brought and donate to other places in Israel. While this was a tad bit “shocking” it is understandable; compassionate hearts around the world poured out tangible love to the overflow.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been asked where a good place to give to Israel is.  May I suggest The Jewish National Fund, it is at the top of my list. They are the ones who planted the forest, and they are the ones who will be re-planting the forest.

You can e-mail me for ministries based in Israel where your donations can make a difference in the lives of the needy here in Israel.

With love from Jerusalem,