In ancient Israel raised the balms of Gilead. Him medication and cosmetics, and also used for worship in the Jerusalem temple, so this plant mentioned in the Bible. And now one of the modern Israeli farmer revives this historical crop and plans to grow on an industrial scale.
Meet: guy Erlich, a dreamer, a farmer and possible supplier of the plant necessary for the incense in the future Third temple.
“My vision is to revive the balms of Gilead, and then to grow it on an industrial scale,” says guy Erlich, owner of the farm “balms of Gilead”:
While the vision of the Ehrlich only in the early stages of execution, but he turns into an oasis of their land by the Dead sea and Jericho.
“For many years I have assembled a collection of rare biblical and medicinal plants. Then I realized that in my collection there are some very interesting plants that have great potential to benefit mankind,” he says.
It all started with the balsam tree, also known as balms of Gilead. For thousands of years across the world, only the Hebrew farmers in this area have grown this exotic plant. They used it for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Now on your biotech enterprise Ehrlich revives this culture and many others.
“Here knew how to make the most important drug of the ancient world, frankincense, which was one of the best throughout the Roman Empire, says guy Erlich. — It was also the main component of incense in the Jerusalem temple, and Second temple times it was part of the anointing oil of the kings of Israel. In the sixth century it disappeared from here along with the Jewish people.”
Its first plant he grew from a shoot which smuggled goods were imported to Israel, a German scholar from Saudi Arabia. Oddly enough, his plants literally thrive in extreme heat and saline soil on the shore of the Dead sea.
“I think in the future it will become medicine. But before becoming a cure, it will be used in cosmetics, as well as before or after it can serve as the first ingredient for incense in the Temple,” said farmer.
While Ehrlich six acres planted with myrrh trees and 5 thousand ready for planting seedlings.
“While I am the only farmer balms of Gilead” — with pride he says.
Resin from the bark, berries and leaves Jabeshgilead balm is also useful. Each of them has a different flavor and properties. In addition, Ehrlich and raises the incense tree.
“It’s my second child — after Jabeshgilead balm. It all started with the vision to bring balms of Gilead to the shores of the Dead sea. But a few years later I realized that in my collection there are some very interesting plants. Now I have a whole group of plants that I want to grow something,” says guy Erlich.
There are more than twenty varieties of frankincense trees, but this one — from the Bible, and it is considered an endangered species.
“This is the incense of the temple in Jerusalem. Generally this tree is not cultivated. It only grows in the wild in different countries of the horn of Africa, and because it is in high demand, mercilessly cut down,” he says.
Ehrlich grows and myrrh tree, which is possibly related to the gifts that the wise men brought Jesus at His birth.
“I can still be considered a sorcerer. As you know, the three wise men brought Mary gifts. They gave her incense, myrrh, and gold. Some believe that “gold” is actually the balms of Gilead, because he was considered more valuable than gold. He is the diamond of all the incense, the diamond of all medicinal plants,” says guy Erlich.
Ehrlich, who describes himself as a believer but not religious, making a number of other plants necessary for the production of incense for the temple. This attracted the attention of some religious Jews who would like to build in Jerusalem the Third temple.
“I wasn’t going to serve in the temple and was therefore surprised by the number of fans of the temple, which began to come to me. When was Rabbi Ariel, I told him that would be happy to put incense for the temple and will do everything possible to prepare for the supply of incense as soon as the temple will be built. But I told him that the construction of the Church will not participate,” he says.
Despite his successes in crop production, Ehrlich faced with big problems. His plantation is set in biblical Judea, known to the world as the West Bank of the Jordan river. This fact scared one American company that collaborated with Ehrlich for many years. One reason: a backlash from the anti-Israel movement “Boycott, divestment and sanctions.”
“I’m sorry that the company lost to this wicked movement, but what to do. I can only fight, continuing his work without her,” he says.
He had to lay off their employees Israelis and Palestinians and to rely on volunteers, such as the Kinneret Noreen and her friends that whole week was weeding, and many others.
“I think once it is in our power, we have to do to make the world a better place. So that’s our job,” says the girl.
Failures do not stop Erlich. His goal was to open research and production center of medicinal plants, which he hopes will benefit the entire region and, as the Bible says the desert will blossom!