Israel StoryProduced in partnership with ToI

Sacred Plants

In honor of the first day of Spring, we bring you two stories of how we change nature and nature changes us.

Sacred Plants (Israel Story)
Sacred Plants (Israel Story)

There have already been a few sightings of anemones in Israel, and that means it’s the start of wildflower season. Many Israelis track wildflowers with a passion. There are traffic jams near popular flower-carpeted hills and even websites that tell you what’s popped up where. But what Israelis (or at least the vast majority of them) don’t do is pick those flowers. That restraint does not stem from any particular zeal for following the law that forbids such picking. Rather, it is the product of a fantastically successful public service campaign that began back in the early 1960s.

In Act II, we switch gears, locales, and just about everything else to follow the journey of Nathan Ehrlich, a Brooklyn-based reporter. For the past few years, Nathan has sought the help of Peruvian shamans (including one kindred spirit, Sergey Baranov, who came to Peru from Ukraine by way of Israel), whose work with ayahuasca, huachuma, and other sacred plants has helped him break through emotional and physical barriers. His story is “Where the Wild Things Grow.”

This episode originally aired in 2016.

About Israel Story: Israel Story is the award-winning podcast that tells extraordinary tales about ordinary Israelis. Often called “the Israeli ‘This American Life,’” we bring you quirky, unpredictable, interesting and moving stories about a place we all think we know a lot about, but really don’t. Produced in partnership with The Times of Israel.

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