Back in 1993, Dry Bones cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen created his one-and-only novel-length work. It was called "Trees, the Green Testament." He never expected it to become an underground cult classic. But that is exactly what happened.
Within months of its publication The Wall Street Journal's front page proclaimed "An Israeli Cartoonist Becomes a Prophet To U.S. Christians". Bearded Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem debated the identity of "which reincarnated Jewish sage had actually channeled the work through Kirschen?" Dozens of people reported breaking into uncontrollable weeping while reading Trees. A radio evangelist in Manila began to supplement his Sunday Bible readings with readings from Trees.
"I told one minister 'I'm not a believer'" says Kirschen "and the minister, tears streaming down his face , said 'Isn't God wonderful? If you had been a believer, what you wrote would be ignored. God needed a cynical unbelieving cartoonist in order to get his message across.'"
The years slipped by but the bizarre story of "Trees, the Green Testament" would just not go away. Copies were being sold on eBay at inflated prices. As recently as 2011, although the book was long out of print, when the national magazine of Young Israel published a special issue on "Zionism in Our Time" it devoted its cover to "Trees", along with reporting the incredible story of its creation inside the magazine.
This year's publication of "the Dry Bones Passover Haggadah" has been widely publicized, but what has not been revealed until now is the relationship between the Haggadah and "Trees." Close examination of the Haggadah will note that in the "Next Year in Jerusalem" sequence, the trees have eyes!! Yes, in the new Haggadah, several pages relating to Aliyah are illuminated with scenes and messages from "Trees."
2013 is the 20th anniversary of the 1993 publication of "Trees" and of the phenomenon of its reception by Jews, Christians, and conservationists. To satisfy a long simmering public demand, LKP ltd. (the Dry Bones company) is now publishing a 20th Anniversary Edition of Trees.