Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Dove and the Olive Branch

Did you know that in Judaism and Christianity an olive branch is a sign for peace? The Torah and the Old Testament both describe how a dove was released by Noah after the Great Flood in order to find land. The dove came back carrying an olive branch in its beak, proof for Noah that the tumultuous waters of the Great Flood were receding and signaling that mankind could soon resume a normal life. (Genesis 8:11).

In Greek tradition, olive branches represented peace, with the tree itself being sacred to Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and defensive warfare. In later years, defeated Roman armies would display olive branches as a white flag to indicate surrender.

In Islam, the olive tree is considered “blessed,” with the olive’s oil providing light that is “well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it,” and by which one is given guidance. (An-Noor 36 – Yusuf Ali)

Our olive wood design of a dove carrying an olive branch represents our hope for universal peace and symbolizes a peace offering from one man to another, as in the phrase, "Let us extend an olive branch."

Written by: Nadeen Abu-Khairan

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