B.Z. Herzl (5658)
I Planted a Cypress in Motza
From Herzl's diary, Volume III, on his visit to Jerusalem in November 1898
At three-thirty I set out with Wolfson, Bodenheimer, and Broza, the farmer to the colony located in Yefe – Nof, but extremely poor - to Motza. There this hard-working young man began four or five years ago to cultivate the most unyielding rocky soil. And he already sees the fruits of his hard labor, he already begins to reap what he sown. The journey through the mountains with the beautiful scenery from Jerusalem to Motza, reminiscent of the Pyrenees, was an easy ride, while farmer Broza was telling us about his difficult beginnings. Once when he planted grapevines, gazelles came at night and consumed them. So, he lay for three nights in a row with his rifle, though the hyenas often roam in the area, and he kept his eyes open to ensure he wouldn't become prey to the hyenas' teeth. When was the land conquered with more bravery?
In Motza I planted a young cypress on Broza's property near the covering slope, who's hind faces to St. John. Wolfson planted a small palm tree.
A few Arabs helped us along with the farmers Broza and Katz. Late at night we returned to Jerusalem.