The resurrection of the resurrection plant

The fabulous plant that grows in the valley of the Dead Sea on the edge of Jericho in the Judean Desert is called in Christianity the “Resurrection Plant” as it symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus. It is said that it was granted the gift of immortality when Maria placed a shroud belonging to her scared baby on it. The rose blossomed beside the sacred family while they fled to Egypt, it bloomed on the day of Jesus’ birth and dried up and closed at the time of his crucifixion and opened up again on Easter Day.

The Rose of Jericho has the extraordinary ability to return to life after desiccation – when the drying stems bend and the plant closes up like a fist almost as if guarding the seeds within. With the arrival of the strong rain the buds open up again quickly and it spreads the seeds repeatedly.

It all started in the summer of 2005 when I returned to Israel following a visit in Colombia with my wife’s fabulous family.eylam raz of ein-gedi

Returning to Israel after such an enjoyable and inspiring visit to a wonderful country and a new family I embraced with great love, was not simple for me.

I live in Kibbutz Ein Gedi, which is the lowest point in the world, and at this time of the summer, the heat is simply unbearable, especially for someone like me, working in agriculture, who is forced to spend long hours in the sun.

All these things combined, made me fall into a difficult period of melancholy.

At this time exactly, the venerate Pope Benedict the Fifth (or Sixth) decided that he would like to go on a coronation journey in his country of birth – Germany. He decided that he would like to accompany his journey with the odorous branches of the holy myrrh from the Holy Land.

Messengers of the venerate Pope conducted an extensive investigation and reached a man called Giora Freud, an Israeli that has been operating in the German flower market for many years, and asked him to find them branches of the holy myrrh from the Holy Land.

Searching for the wonderful myrrh, Giora Freund arrived at the Botanical Gardens of Kibbutz Ein Gedi, where the odorous holy myrrh grows, and where I met him in my role in the Ein Gedi Agriculture Administration.

During the tour, Giora saw the marvellous plant – Rose of Jericho – the Resurrection Plant, which the Ein Gedi residents have been cultivating in their gardens for many years. The residents of the region have always adored this plant.

Knowing the German flower market, Giora immediately pointed to me that this plant is very popular among the Christian community in Europe, and the same thing that attracted the people of Ein Gedi to the plant, attracts people from all over the world.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the story, at the time I was feeling melancholy and without energy, and the combination of things captured my spirit right away and made me feel elated – I realized I had a purpose – to spread this wonderful plant that grows only in the Judean Desert in the Holy Land – to the entire world to all worshipers and loving people, in order to create a renewed resurrection in each and every person, as I have experienced.

Since this plant is a desert plant, growing only in very particular areas of the desert and I did not want to damage the natural environment, I decided to collect seeds and start acclimatizing the plant so I would be able to spread it all over the world.

AAnd so, for three years, I learned about the marvellous growth of the plant, and since 2009 I have been growing it here in the Holy Land, spreading it with great love all over the world.

Eilam Raz, Kibbutz Ein Gedi, Israel


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