A large forest fire broke out near the entrance to Jerusalem, closing Highway 1 and forcing the evacuation of 60 families from the towns of Shoresh and Shoevah.
The fire covered over 24 acres of woodland, coming within 330 meters of the communities. A summer camp housing 850 teens, a gas station, and a shopping center were also evacuated.
11 local fire crews were reinforced with 13 firefighting units from other parts of the country. Six firefighting airplanes are currently engaged in efforts to extinguish the fire.
Many of the trees that the blaze consumed around Shoresh were originally planted by Israel365 headed by Rabbi Tuly Weisz.
But Shoresh isn’t new to the phenomenon of forest fires. In 1995, the village’s surrounding forests were also burned to a crisp. And so, in 2019, Rabbi Weisz visited Shoresh to plant trees as part of his organization’s wider campaign to plant trees throughout Israel and replenish the land from brush fires.
Shoresh was founded by Romanian immigrants in 1948, the year of the founding of the state of Israel. The word ‘Shoresh’ means ‘root’ in Hebrew and can be found in the book of Isaiah:
In that day, The root of Yishai that has remained standing Shall become a standard to peoples— Nations shall seek his counsel And his abode shall be honored. (Isaiah 11:10)
Rabbi Weisz was joined at the tree-planting ceremony by an Israeli resident of Shoresh as well as a Christian American.
To help plant more trees and replenish what was destroyed, click here.