On the 15th of Shvat 5708, the 15th of May 1948, a special order was issued by the Jewish National Fund for “The Tree of the State” at a specially appointed site.
During the bloody war imposed on us by our enemy we planted the cypress tree in the Defender’s Garden, across form where the Jordan River comes out of the Kinneret. This Cypress is a reminder of the one planted by Theodor Herzl during his stay in the country.
The planting ceremony was opened by the singing of “Hatikva” which inspired an atmosphere of festivity and embedded the importance of the hour in the hearts of those attending.Ya’akov Palmoni spoke at the planting and instilled in all those present the responsibility for the fate of the “new sapling”, the fate of whose taking root and cultivation symbolizes our own fate.
This is the wording of the charter which was put under the roots of the “Tree of the State of Israel”:
“The Tree of the State”
“This day, the fifteenth of the month of Shvat (Tu B’Shvat), is the new year of tree-planting, five thousand seven hundred and eight from the Creation, one thousand eight hundred seventy eight years from the Exile of Israel, reaching the Jubilee of the Zionist Histadrut, the thirty eighth year since the founding of Kibbutz Degania, fifty seven days after the proclamation by the General Assemby of the United Nations, of the reestablishment of the State of the Jews and the repatriation of Israel to part of its homeland.
In the days of wrath and evil, when our enemies darkened the dawn of our freedom, with our sons standing with courage and honor, facing the enemies rising against us from all sides to extinguish the last hope of our redemption -
This day we are planting on our land, the land of the nation on the banks of the Jordan and the Kinneret, this cypress, which shall be called The Tree of The State.
This tree shall be as a sign of the strengthening of the covenant between us and our homeland, planting the faith, for the Hebrew State shall arise now in which righteousness and mercy shall reign always, and she shall gather within her the remainder of our people, and she shall return to them all their power and glory and be as a fortress of strength and splendor forever and ever.