There is a midrash in the Mishnah about Honi HaMe’agel (Choni the Circle-drawer).
The story of Choni in the Babylonian Talmud speaks of how he saw a man planting a carob tree. Choni asked him how long it would take for the tree to bear fruit, to which the man replied 70 years. Choni then asked if the man was certain he would be witness to the fruit from the carob tree, to which the man replied, “I found [already grown] carob trees in the world; as my forefathers planted those for me, so I too plant these for my children.”
On Tu B’Shvat this year the Cape SAJBD together with our partners visited Camp Joy Skills Development & Restoration Centre and donated 12 trees which were planted in and around the area, providing much-needed shade for the vegetable garden which is one of the ongoing projects at Camp Joy.
Camp Joy is a facility focusing on restoration as a guideline to quality of life, healthy living, and re-integration. Their mission is to combat drug addiction and to rid communities at all echelons of society, of violence, and gangsterism.
We were welcomed by Pastor Craven Engels, who runs Camp Joy, and joined by City Councillor Elton Jansen. Thanks to our partners South African Zionist Federation — Cape Council, South African Friends of Israel, Bnoth Zion WIZO Cape Town, Bridges For Peace and Prime Trees.
Like the midrash of Choni the circle-drawer, although we may not see the shade of the trees for several years, we plant these trees for generations to come. May the shade protect them not only from the sun, but also provide protection from violence and gangsterism in this much-needed facility.
Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies website: www.capesajbd.org, Instagram, and Facebook page.
• Published in the March 2023 Digital Edition – Click here to start reading.
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