BEHOLD THE TREES
"Trees. Leaves, twigs, branches, bark-covered trunks, roots going down into dark, damp soil. Shields for the earth against the searing sun and drying winds. This is the story of one land and its trees. It begins a long, long, very long time ago..."
In Behold the Trees Sue Alexander and Leonid Gore paint a riveting, heartbreaking picture of the long, slow devastation of one piece of Earth--and the hopeful beginnings of its renewal. Alexander, in a mesmerizing litany, recites the names of the trees that once sheltered and protected the land in what is now Israel: "Oak and almond, fig and olive, terebinth and palm, acacia and pomegranate, willow and tamarisk." She then describes, in chronologically organized, heartfelt text, the thousands of years of wars, farming, building, burning, and neglect that contributed to the loss of the trees. Ultimately, she writes of present-day efforts by Jewish people of all ages to replant the trees: "one by one--hundreds and thousands and millions of trees." The litany has changed once again, but hope has been rekindled. "Cypress and pine, eucalyptus and acacia, orange and olive, lemon and pecan, oak and palm... They hold back the sea, cool the air, and protect the earth for the people and animals who live there."