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דבי אופקים

(The Tree Lover" \ Pinhas Oren (Weiss"

Debbi 0fakim, 120 pg., 2013

In the year 1951 I also changed my name from Weiss to Oren. The change was done at the request of Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, who asked state employees to change their names into Hebrew ones. Yael picked the name Oren, which suited my work and her father's work at foresters. Also, the color of the pine is white, "weiss" in German. And so I turned from Pinhas Weiss to Pinhas Oren

Pinhas Oren (Weiss)  was born in Vienna in the year 1920 to Rabi Aharon Weiss and his wife Elisheva. Since then, his life stories are interwoven with the marvelous narrative of the Jewish People in the 20th century.  A narrative that includes holocaust and renewal, sadness and happiness, wars and peace, diaspora and the return to ha’aretz (the Land of Israel)

Oren was infected with the Zionist virus as a teenager in Vienna, returned to ha’aretz in the 30s, fought with the British against the Germans, took part in the War of Independence  and raised a family – but his main doing was greening the wastelands

In his work as a forester, a work he began before the creation of the state, in the British Mandate’s Palestine Department of Forests – he crossed ha’aretz lengthwise and widthwise, covering it with a green dress: trees and parks, shrubs and flowers, lovely corners and nature reserves

The splendid productivity of Oren in the field of forestry in Israel emphasizes the tension between life in nature and in urban environments. His wonderful and significant work entitles him, without a doubt, to the title “The Tree Lover” [“The Tree Whisperer” in Hebrew], and permits us all to enjoy, alongside life in urban settings, the green gifts that nature offers us

The book “The Tree Lover” is not only a life story but also the tale of the forestry discipline in ha’aretz. The tale of people, who enacted a miracle and, with their own hands, transformed a wasteland into a flowering garden