In Memory of Nogah HaReuveni
October 30th 2007
A huge branched tree in Israel landscape is gone –
He is Nogah HaReuveni
With Nogah's passing and burial a crucial chapter in the understanding and knowing of Israel's flora and vegetation comes to an end. He influenced me for many years and understanding our bonds may clarify many components in Flora of Israel Online to its viewers and users. Naturally I shall speak of Nogah and my mutual path as seen through my eyes. When I served in the army and participated in infantry training in 1956-7, instructors for "Field Education" participated in training us. They taught us how to use the spontaneous vegetation to the benefit of the ordinary soldier. After learning how to produce a rope from the stem barks of Thymelaea hirsuta, I started to host an idea – I should try to serve my duty in the army by learning and teaching Field Education. I succeeded to get into this small unit in the military education system, commanded by Captain Nogah HaReuveni. The "commanding" issue should not be perceived in the regular way. We had friendly and family-like relationships from day one and all along the way. This could take place only due to the warm and open personality of Nogah. His direct way of understanding the natural history intermingled with our heritage has helped build up our bonds with our homeland. I learnt from Nogah a huge quantity of practical botanical knowledge with a wide background on the presentation of the plants in the Bible and the Mishna. We were just a few instructors, and every few weeks we would gather in Nogah and Drora's home in Tel Aviv. We would learn about the proverbs our prophets brought to a public who knew very well the natural history of the country. These meetings or lessons with the background of the scriptures, were deeply assimilated in my memory and have been following my way since then as lit torches. You may understand now the strong desire I had in writing the ropes and strings chapter in my "electronic book" during these days. Nogah dedicated his entire life to passing on the treasures of knowledge his parents investigated in the Middle East and in our ancient scriptures, together with the chapters he created in this field. He did it first when he erected in the Israel Defense Forces the "Field Education" unit. When some antagonism to his activity built up ("the Wars of the Jews"), he left the army and later founded "Neot Kedumim" with his colleagues. There he widened the connection between the Israeli people, with its many streams, and the Biblical nature and agricultural life. Our country succeeded to make a perfectly justified step by inaugurating him with the Israel Prize for his lifetime achievements. I was privileged to receive my first strong push in learning about the nature of Israel when being with Nogah, and never stopped following in his footsteps, at least partially. Let his memory be blessed forever.
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Keywords: Vegetation, Flora, Israel, Wildflowers, Flower Identification Guide, Flowers,
Botany, Biology, Trees, Bushes, Nature, Trekking, Hiking, Nature