Tantur October 2013 newsletter
Greetings from Tantur!
In the Holy Land, the October olive harvest season is the most-anticipated time of the year outside of any religious and national holiday. Anyone who has ever journeyed to our part of the world knows very well the importance of the olive tree to both Israeli and Palestinian cultural, national and even religious identity. For Palestinians, the oldest olive trees are known as Romana zeitun, or “Roman olive trees,” due to their millennia-long lifespan, and symbolize continuity with the land. For Israelis, the olive tree represents the hope and aspirations of the founding of the modern state of Israel. For Christian pilgrims, returning home with an olive wood cross or handicraft item is a rite of passage in their spiritual journey. At Tantur, the olives on our olive trees are at present being picked by local residents at the time of this writing; perhaps one day we will get around to bottling our own zeit for our guests and participants to bring home with them. For now, we are happy to report that our trees are healthy, and, thanks to God, bearing fruit.
May the theological work that we have been entrusted be so as well!