Tiberias uproots trees to make street kosher for cohanim

The Tiberias Municipality has been transplanting trees along Hayarden Street in order to enable cohanim, descendants of ancient Jewish priests, to use the street. According to Jewish tradition, cohanim are not allowed to enter cemeteries. The municipality undertook the project because of the concern that ancient cemeteries are buried under the street. The center of the city, where Hayarden Street is located, was the Jewish burial area of the town in Talmudic times.

The work to accommodate cohanim requires excavation of its entire width and the removal of the trees there. In addition to eight impressive ficus trees that were decades old that were relocated on Wednesday, several eucalyptus trees were chopped down early this year as part of the project. The relocation of the ficus trees, which had provided shade to the southern swathe of the road, was handled in an unprofessional manner, according to David Brand, the chief forestry official at the Jewish National Fund, who said the trees were trimmed to an excessive extent two and a half months ago and the work was done without permission.

Read More: @ haaretz.com

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