People Using Magi Tradition to Respect Jesus in Israel

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Mystical Rituals Gaining a Resurgence

For those of us who had a religious upbringing, there are two accounts of Jesus Christ’s birth. The one in the gospel of Luke and Matthew. The gospel of Luke describes the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem while the one in Matthew gives us a detailed account of how the wise men saw a bright star and decided to follow it. Upon arrival, the wise men offered baby Jesus three gifts which were: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. What many people don’t know is that the three wise men were Magi.

The magi were a wise people who had a knack for reading the stars and hence the notion that they were wise. An Israeli entrepreneur, Guy Erlich, is bringing the Magi traditions back by dedicating his farm to plant Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. It is believed that the wise men did not gift baby Jesus with actual gold but rather amber resin of the Balsam of Gilead. This is an aromatic mix resembling citrus and cinnamon that Mr. Erlich is also growing. He says he was swayed to grow them by the fact that they are considered to be medical plants in the bible.

The plants are also famous for producing perfumes and balms.
Modern biblical scholars have also backed Mr. Erlich’s theory of amber resin of the balsam of Gilead being the gold. Prof. Shimshon Ben Yehoshua, from the Volcani Agricultural Research Center, says that he sampled some plants from Erlich’s farm and he believes they are of the same variety as those used in ancient times. the Professors’ view has led to an increase of demand for the plants as everyday Israelites want to burn them to uphold Jesus’ name.

Mr. Erlich says he is open to all religions as he aims to help people use the plants in a fitting manner.

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