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Friday, 3 Jul 2020

The idea of gardens in the three monotheistic religions

Pardies Apfel
Religion Gärten Diaspora Jüdisches Museum

Judaism and Christianity do not know a special garden tradition. In Islamic cultural history, on the other hand, there are various types of gardens, inspired by Quranic verses, in which a water spring always gushes. "A place of hope, of recreation", says Imam Osman Ors in the video talk below. With Rabbi Andreas Nachama, Pastor Gregor Hohberg and Rabbi Golan Ben Chorin from Haifa, they exchange views on the different or similar ideas about the idea of gardens in the monotheistic religions.

There is one point in which thist idea of gardens links the religions, and that is in the tale of paradise. It is the place of the first humans, a lush garden where Adam and Eve lack nothing. "God gives people everything they need to live," says Priest Hohberg. But Adam and Eve wanted more. By reaching for the apple they exercised their free will and thus lost their place in paradise. What remains is a place of longing for believers, a paradisiacal garden beyond.

The garden also always leads to water. "In the Jewish religion there is a connection between water and the Torah, the teaching," says Rabbi Ben Chorin. Physical life is not possible without water, spiritual life in Judaism is not possible without Torah. Inspired by Berlin's House of One Ben Chorin is planning a "Garden of One" in Haifa, Israel. A House of One without walls. "Israel is the Holy Land, a place of many promises but also of much pain," says Ben Chorin. "We must tear down walls - that is how the idea of a garden came about." Read more in the interview with the House of One project ambassador.





Conservation of creation

Derived from the idea of the garden, all three religions know the mission to protect creation. Man bears the responsibility for the world created by God. With this comes the duty to treat nature's resources with care and to preserve them for the descendants. A pressing issue of our time.

Although there are no historical models, gardeners are time and again trying to create Jewish or Christian gardens. Thus, in the "Gardens of the World" bin Berlin there is not only an Islamic-oriental garden, but also a Christian and since 2019 also a Jewish garden. The latter was celebrated as "the first Jewish garden in the world". Rabbi Nachama laid the foundation stone for the complex in 2018.

The Jewish Museum in Berlin has chosen a different path. Jews live all over the world, Judaism is diverse and constantly on the move. At the Blumenthal Academy, the landscape architecture firm "atelier le balto" has therefore designed a "Garden of the Diaspora" in which garden artists deal with this "scattered" life. "A green path through the history of the diaspora," says Cilly Kugelmann, former program director of the Jewish Museum. You will learn more about this in a detailed conversation with Kugelmann next week.


If you know other examples of Jewish gardens and also of Christian or Islamic ones please write us to . We are looking forward to your stories.




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