David Ross shows his tea (Photo credit: Eliana Rudee)
Although tea is only recently becoming more familiar to the modern Israeli palate, the tasty herbs used in some of the best local blends date back to the times of the Bible.
Inspired by the flora of the Land of Israel, Shalva Tea’s six premium blends feature herbs inspired by each region of Israel. Shalva itself is a Biblical Hebrew word, mentioned just once in a psalm attributed to King David, meaning peace, calmness and tranquility:
Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim; “May those who love you be at peace. May there be well-being within your ramparts, peace in your citadels.” (Psalms 122:6-7)
Shalva Tea began was founded by David Ross. While he was earning his Master’s Degree in Forestry from Yale University, he traveled to Israel do conduct field work in Mount Carmel, which had been struck by devastating wildfires in 2010. He spent the summer researching the causes and solutions to wildfires, including letting the land naturally regenerate for more healthy plant diversity and safer forests.
Throughout this fieldwork, Ross would stumble upon an abundance of native aromatic herbs, bringing them home to drink as relaxing teas after hard days of work in the field. As an avid forager and herbal enthusiast, Ross did not find any locally made herbal teas in the supermarkets and decided to brew his own.
And as a committed environmentalist, David’s company reflects his values, focusing on native herbs, locally manufactured packaging, and natural ingredients. Helping to package his teas are young adults with disabilities, employed by the Shalva Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (Shalva) that happens to share the same name as Shalva Tea. Shalva employees package half of Ross’s herbal blends, providing the young adults with vocational training and the job skills necessary to effectively join the mainstream job force.
Kalman Samuels, the non profit’s founder and president told Breaking Israel News, “It’s a nice concept to play with a few friends, but when you can have a child become a young person working in the community and getting involved, that’s the ultimate inclusion, and that’s what is happening here between Shalva and Shalva Tea.”
Shalva’s blends, inspired by Biblical herbs from each region include: Arava Calm (with chamomile, lemongrass, spearmint, licorice, and lavender); Carmel ForesTea (with rosemary, sumac, za’atar, zuta, elderberry, raspberry leaf, and calendula); Ein Gedi Digestif (fennel seed, sage, dandelion, zuta, cactus flower, and carob); Soothing Elah Valley (with peppermint, rose petal, licorice, sumac, zuta, and rose hip); Refreshing Galil (with lemongrass, olive leaf, lemon balm, dandelion, and sage); and Jerusalem Harmony (with lemongrass, hibiscus, spearmint, rose petal, olive leaf, sage, cardamom, and calendula).
According to Ross, relating to the Carmel ForesTea blend, “hyssop (also known as za’atar) branches were used to paint blood on the Israelite doorposts before leaving Egypt.”
“Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and to the two doorposts. None of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.” (Exodus 12:22)
“It was also used as part of a potion for skin diseases, and also as a general cleansing herb. Today, hyssop is widely used in teas for anyone who is about to come down with a cold. The whole Carmel ForesTea blend (formerly Carmel ImmuniTea) is made to be an immune-booster,” said Ross.
“Purge me with hyssop till I am pure; wash me till I am whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:9)
Relating to the olive leaf in the Refreshing Galil blend, said Ross: “Olives and olive trees are the first plant species to be mentioned in the bible, and probably the most often mentioned.”
From a reference widely thought to be about olives, Ross cited Ezekiel 47:12:
“All kinds of trees for food will grow up on both banks of the stream. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail; they will yield new fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the Temple. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
“Olive leaves have a powerful history of being used for medicine, including for antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Also used in helping to lower blood pressure and in liver cleanses,” said Ross.
Ross’s connection to the land goes even further than his teas and Biblical references. He started the business in 2014, shortly after he made aliyah to Israel, fulfilling the prophetic return to the land.
“The outdoor world is for me, a way to connect to the land of Israel through the plants growing on the ground,” Ross told Breaking Israel News. “To get to know the local ecology is to feel more comfortable in that surrounding. And to know where they are in the Torah, it brings it full circle for me.”
“I made aliyah because I support the land of Israel,” Ross said. “The land has always been a powerful component in my life.” He said he doesn’t shy away from using the land of Israel as a part of his marketing strategy.
“The branding of the project is herbal teas from the land of Israel. Other tea companies are not necessarily advertising because of BDS,” he maintained. “I have talked to distributors who say that while they aren’t against buying Israeli products, Israel is such a political entity that they don’t want to touch it, as it could potentially could ruffle feathers.”
David Ross (Credit: David Ross)
But Ross expressed his pride that herbs from the land resonate with people who support Israel.
“Judaism is all about the land in Israel, and Christians who support that vision and see the prophecies of Jews coming back to the land are that message abroad,” he said.
With US online orders shipped from New York, Ross said tea drinkers now have an opportunity to smell and taste the land, and bring herbal infusions from the land into their home as a daily item.
“To have Shalva in your kitchen cabinet is to have Israel in your home,” Ross said.
Iraqi Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, May 17, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Alaa al-Marjani / File.
Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said on Saturday that Jews could return to Iraq if they “demonstrated loyalty,” the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
The 44-year-old Sadr heads the Saairun coalition, which won the most seats in the Iraqi parliamentary election last month.
His comment on Jews came in response to a question asked by a supporter, the Walla report said.
In the aftermath of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Sadr’s Mahdi Army targeted American troops.
Iran’s base in southern Syria, as photographed by satellite imagery, in October 2017. (Screenshot)
An Arabic news source reported on the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Russia concerning the Iranian military presence in Syria, stating that Russia has agreed to “a green light” for Israeli military strikes against Iranian military target.
Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman is currently in negotiations with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow concerning the Iranian military presence in Southern Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also in telephone contact over the matter.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
“Paranoia predisposed him to believe in nefarious, hidden forces driving events,” the New York Times writes of Trump. “Political opportunism informed his promotion of conspiracy theories.”
But that could just as easily apply to the New York Times.
The Jewish community is in danger and so is the Free World as we know it. THE CONFLICT BEYOND ADVOCACY
The Jewish community is in danger and so is the Free World as we know it.
Reprinted from IsraelNationalNews.com.
Who would have believed that within certain communities, there could be more supporters of the radical Arab Palestinian agenda than supporters of the free, democratic and altruistic State of Israel. The relentless Arab Palestinian deceitful and well-organized propaganda, with the irrational support of many in the Western Media, may be a part of this transition.
The Democratic Party in the USA used to be a staunch supporter of the just cause of the State of Israel, but a recent Pew Research Center report showed a dangerous shift in this attitude. Within the more radical liberal branch of the Democratic party, about 38% will be anti-Israeli while the supporters of Israel will be only about 26%. When you look at the overall numbers as they relate to the Democratic party, you find that about 31% will be anti-Israeli and only 33% will be pro-Israel. On the other hand, within the Republican party, about 74% will be pro-Israel.
Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza, speaks during a protest east of Khan Yunis, April 16, 2018.
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, recently gave interviews to Al Jazeera and Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV, which is close to Hezbollah, to boast about his movement’s achievements in the wake of the recent border fence demonstrations and the Great Return March. In the interviews, on May 16 and 21, respectively, Sinwar also threatened that if Hamas is forced into another round of fighting with Israel, its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades will have a few surprises in store for the “Zionist enemy
“The Israeli nation had been constructed as a sort of gateway by which the sparks of purity would shine upon the whole of the human race the world over.” The Arvut, Baal HaSulam
The Trump-Kim summit generated a renewed sense of hope along with questions about the future. Will we witness a new and peaceful North Korea? Will Trump’s deal-making skills become instrumental in promoting world peace? And specifically among Israel analysts: Will Trump be able to make a deal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
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The fifth commandment is, “Honor thy father and mother.” The sixth is, “Thou shalt not murder.”
And in the German city of Mainz, whose Jewish community dates back to Roman times, a worried mother waited for the worst. Susanna had gone off with her friends. They came home. And she didn’t.
What can one learn from the controversy? Basically, that it is safer to be a member of Hamas than to be gay. Palestinian leaders would much rather see young Palestinians trying to kill Israelis than talk about gays in their own society. In the world of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, there is no room for comedy or satire.
On June 8, an estimated 250,000 people attended the Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv. Tourists from all around the world came to Israel to watch and participate in the event. The theme of this year’s event is “The Community Makes History” — a reference to the LGBT community in Israel.
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The anti-Israel boycott is despicable. In the past, the Jews were boycotted by the unenlightened. Today, the unenlightened are not alone. They’re in a coalition with the pseudo-enlightened.
Jibril Rajoub, the man who announced that if he had an atom bomb he would drop it on Israel, won a huge victory, because the game against Argentina was supposed to be the jewel in the crown. It was supposed to join the Eurovision win in proving that Israel doesn’t have to give a damn about the rest of the world. But no, it does.
We must admit that Rajoub is not the only one who defeated Israel. Israel defeated itself. Because when you do things to spite other, you end up paying the price. And we’re paying it.