Tamarisk (tamarix)


If you’re looking for a powerful symbol of hope, life, and faith, look no further than the tamarisk tree. This significant tree has a rich history and a deep spiritual meaning. The next time you see a tamarisk tree, take a moment to reflect on its significance. Let’s get to know its rich history.

The tamarisk, also known as “the salt cedar”, is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall. It’s an evergreen tree native to dry areas of southern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Nowadays it has spread everywhere (North and South America, many places in Europe, even in colder areas where it remains a bush and also in Australia, where it is called athel pine. You can find it easily near river banks or sandy grounds. It can even grow in the banks of the Dead Sea, where nothing else can live.

Something curious about tamarisks: the shade of the tamarisk is much cooler than that of other trees. In the evenings, as the temperature gets cooler, the salt crystals formed on the branches of the tamarisk tree absorb the moisture that is in the air forming little droplets of water on the branches; and then, when the sun rises and the heat begins to evaporate the water, the water droplets burst open creating a fine mist in the air. These droplets produce a natural form of air conditioning that cools anyone under the shade of the tamarisk.

Its leaves contain a high level of tannin. They provide delicate lines in eco printings and the effect they give to compositions is very subtle and special.

Benefits of the Tamarisk Tree

The tamarisk tree has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes. In ancient times, the bark and leaves of the tamarisk were used to treat fever, wounds, and digestive problems.

It is used to make a vegetable product called Manna (no connection to the miraculous food that kept Hebrews alive for 40 years when walking through the desert). Manna is created when the tamarisk is boiled, strained, and used as honey.

It also provides windbreaks, soil stabilizers, and shade for livestock and people.


Spiritual Symbolism in the Hebrew culture

Symbol of Hope and life

The evergreen nature of the tamarisk tree represents hope and life. The tamarisk tree also symbolizes new beginnings. If you’re going through a tough time, the tamarisk tree is a reminder that better days are ahead.

Symbol of strength and resilience

It can withstand heat, even devastating fires or long dry spells by sending roots deep down to find underground water. So Tamarisk trees can live for over hundreds of years in extremely poor conditions.

The tamarisk tree, with its ability to thrive in harsh conditions, is a reminder that you can overcome any obstacle if you have faith and determination.


A reminder of God’s fearfulness 

As we will see later, the tamarisk was a spiritual symbol of the covenant between Abraham and God. This story reminds us that no matter what happens in life, God will always keep His promises.

Symbol of eternal life

Since the tamarisk is an evergreen tree, some see that it symbolizes eternal life

Sacred tree

Today, the tamarisk tree is still considered to be a sacred tree by many people.


Let’s get to know this interesting tradition

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.”

(Genesis 21:33)

According to the Bible, Abraham and Abimelech, a Philistine ruler, made an oath and sealed an agreement of peace and mutual tolerance. After this oath, Abraham planted a tamarisk, as a visible sign of God’s fulfillment of both of these blessings upon the descendants of Israel and all the people of the earth.

Now, let’s look at some of the reasons why the tamarisk tree was spiritually significant for Abraham.

First, as we already mentioned, tamarisk trees are often referred to as “salt cedars” because they are a type of evergreen that produces a salt-like substance on its slender branches. Salt has always been considered a blessing in the Bible.

Secondly, the tamarisk tree also produces a honey-like substance that is sweet to the taste.

The Tamarisk must have been seen by Abraham as the “Tree of Life”…as it was evergreen and able to survive extreme difficulties over the years.

Last, but not least, tamarisks take a long time to grow and Abraham knew this, so when planting it he was leaving his blessing for future generations.

Therefore, Abraham was not only commemorating a present peace agreement, but he was looking forward to the future blessings upon himself and his future descendants.

So, after all these revelations about the meaning of this unique tree…..I wonder….. What am I planting today that will benefit future generations?

Isn’t this a question that we, enthusiastic printers, should make ourselves?

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