When the Children of Israel camped at the foot of Mount Sinai a miracle happened.
The desert was dry and barren of any vegetation. Yet, just as the Torah (the life force of the Jewish people) was about to be revealed to the Nation, we are taught in the Midrash that the mountain miraculously blossomed forth with flowers and greenery.
The Hebrew word for “greenery” is “yerek,” which is related to the word “yarok” which means “green.”
There is a universal custom to decorate the synagogue with “greenery” in preparation for us to receive the Torah once again each year on the Shavuot Festival.
In Yavne’el in the Galilee, we use palm and olive branches from local date and olive trees to decorate our historic Synagogue that was lovingly built by early settlers in 1936.
Here is a photo of a 100 year old olive tree pressing itself up against the synagogue window as if straining to hear our voices learning the Torah inside.