Olives and olive oil have a long and important history in Eretz Yisrael. From Chumash in Devarim, we find olives are one of the seen species of the land, 

ח  "אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, דבורים ".וּדְבָשׁ -  “A land of wheat and barley, and vines and figs and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey.”  


The significance of olive oil in the Beit Hamikdash and at Chanukkah are well known. In Hebrew, harvesting olives even has a special name - מסיק.

  רחוב הזית - Olive Street is the most popular Israeli street name. 


On Monday morning, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife, Nechama harvested from the 60 olive trees in the gardens of the Presidential Residence Beit Hanasi. With the President were invited olive growers and owners of olive presses from all over Israel, from all sectors and their families, including children.

One of the children who came Nir Pinchas, 13, is from a seventh-generation farming family.  He spoke to the president about the family legacy and dreams of being part of it. I love to do it, and proudly added he has a license to drive the tractor.  

The president said to his guests, "The whole range of the sectors of Israel are here together. The olive trees are a symbol of peace, brotherhood and friendship, though olive price disputes and uprooted trees are recent issues. As we all here worked together, we can also live together."