THE MYSTERY OF THE FLOATING ORANGE TREE
In Jaffa, on one of the streets of the old city, you can see a very unusual composition - "a floating orange tree". It was created in 1993 by Israeli sculptor Ran Morin, it fits perfectly into the atmosphere of Jaffa and is considered a symbol of the city.
The composition represents an orange tree planted in an egg-shaped clay pot, which is attached with cables to the walls of neighboring houses. Thus, the tree appears to be floating in the air. The tree, by the way, is real, it blooms and bears fruit.
And there is much more sense in this composition than it might seem at first glance. But why orange?
After the formation of Israel in 1948, the main source of income for the young state was the export of citrus fruits. In those days, Jaffa was buried in the greenery and aromas of orange groves, giving the world beautiful, juicy fruits. The Israeli Shamauti oranges were especially popular. Delicious, juicy, almost seedless fruits of this variety did not deteriorate for a long time, which made it possible to transport them over long distances.
I think that children who grew up in the USSR remember how they loved to eat insanely delicious "Moroccan" oranges with a "Jaffa" sticker for the New Year, without even knowing that they grew up on the blessed land of Israel. And the joke about the fact that Cheburashka is from Jaffa, thanks to the famous "orange deal" concluded by Nikita Khrushchev with the state of Israel, could well be true.
For reference: "The Orange Deal" - the sale by Nikita Khrushchev in 1964 to Israel of real estate objects located in the Holy Land and belonging to the Russian Empire until 1917. The deal was called "orange" because 2/3 of the deal was paid for by the import of Israeli citrus fruits to the USSR.
In the late 70s of the last century, the Arabs poisoned the orange crop with mercury. The subsequent deaths of European children have caused huge financial losses to Israel, and at the same time, forced the country to turn from an agricultural economy to an economy based on intelligence. In which, by the way, Israel has managed to achieve incredible success.
Today Jaffa is surrounded not by orange groves, but by Tel Aviv skyscrapers. But the memory of them remained, and the orange is still considered the symbol of the city.
But not only history but also philosophy interested Ram Morin when he created his "floating orange fruit". The tree in the “egg” reminds us how we are children, who grew up in stone reservoirs, in shells, torn off from the earth, from the roots of our ancestors, moving further and further away from nature, how the ties between us are torn, sometimes finally and irrevocably.
There is another beautiful image that is usually associated with this sculpture: it is believed that the tree symbolizes the Jewish people, uprooted from their land and scattered throughout the world, but continues to live, fight and bear fruit.
Tourists in Jaffa like to tell another equally interesting legend about the "soaring orange tree", according to which one resident planted an orange tree on the land belonging to the municipality. But local officials came and ordered the tree to be cut down since the law forbids planting trees on municipal land. Then this resident took and hung up the tree so that it did not touch the ground. And the officials were powerless because he did not break the law. It turns out that you can always find a way out of any situation.
There are so many stories and legends associated with this amazing composition, which is the symbol of Jaffa. This means that everyone will be able to choose for themselves the one that they like the most.
I invite you to discover the secrets of jaffa in my special Tel Aviv and Jaffa private tour, contact me for more info.