Garo Nalbandian

The date palm, frequently mentioned in the Bible, provides branches for use in both Christian and Jewish ceremonies. One of the most useful trees in the ancient Near East, the date palm grows to a height of 30 to 60 feet and produces fiber for ropes, raw material for baskets, wax, oil, nuts and fruits (which can in turn be fermented into liquor). The tree has served as a symbol of justice and, righteousness (Deborah dispensed judgments while sitting under a palm in Judges 4:5) and was used by the Maccabees (second century B.C.) on their coins as an emblem of victory.