Lecture: Ethnobotanical Insights into Biblical Life and Language

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Tuesday February 19

10:00 AM  –  11:30 AM

Metaphors drawn from nature and daily life helped the ancient Israelites to connect with the Bible, but modern readers often find them remote and difficult to understand. Why, for example, was Noah told to build an ark of “gopher wood”? There is no tree by that name. How did wormwood (Artemisia spp.) come to symbolize social corruption? What characteristics made olive trees the model of care for elderly parents and an inspiration for national reconciliation after civil conflict? Biblical and Talmudic ethnobotanist Dr. Jon Greenberg of TorahFlora.org will be our guide as we use Middle-Eastern natural history and the history of food and agriculture to explore these and other mysteries.


All program fees include same day admission to the Garden, rain or shine (a $12 value per adult).

Please email gardenprograms@berkeley.edu to inquire if ASL Interpretation is available.

Cancellation Policy: Notification two weeks prior to program receives full refund; less than two weeks receives a one-time credit toward another Garden program to be used within 90 days; less than 48 hours from program start, no refunds or credit will be given for cancellations or absences.


In the event that the Garden has to cancel a program you will be offered a full refund or the option to transfer to another program.