Vol. 10


Honey for Olives

1950s; west-central Israel

My great-grandfather Avraham Karasik was about one year old when he emigrated from Russia to Israel with his parents, Simcha and Mischa Karasik, and his six brothers and sisters. His family left Russia because his family’s rabbi told the ten Jewish families in their village that they needed to move to Israel because the Russians did not like the Jews. My great-grandfather moved with his family to a town called Ramat Gan, Israel. My great-grandfather grew up in this town, and by the time he was seventeen he had become a beekeeper. He loved bees and did not care if he was stung. He had many beehives, and every few days he took the bees to different forests to increase honey production.

One day Avraham went into a forest next to an Arab town and began to set up his beehives. A lot of Arabs from the town began to crowd around Avraham and the beehives. The Arabs from the town curiously watched my great-grandfather. The crowd around him grew and grew. My great-grandfather was very afraid, but he didn’t want to move his bees from this forest.

Avraham saw a little boy in the middle of the crowd. Avraham got an idea. He stuck his hand into one of the beehives, and he pulled out a honeycomb full of honey. He handed the honeycomb to the little boy. The boy tasted it, smiled, and quickly ran away. Now my great-grandfather Avraham didn’t know what to do. The crowd was just getting bigger and bigger and louder and louder.

Finally the boy came back with his father. The boy’s father said, “I tasted this honey, and it had such good taste. Who was responsible for this honey?”

The man’s son pointed his finger at my great-grandfather and said, “The Jew gave me the honey!”

The boy’s father then said to my great-grandfather, “My name is Mohammed. I own this land, and you are welcome to keep your bees here.”

As it turned out, Mohammed had large olive trees nearby. Mohammed grew sweet olives and made tasty olive oil. He took my great-grandfather to his olive trees, and he let my great-grandfather taste some of his olive oil and olives. My great-grandfather loved the olive oil and the olives.

"Honey for Olives" - Illustrated by Joshua Bowman: A Jew and an Arab shake hands while a child tastes honey from a honeycombMohammed and Avraham decided to become trading partners. Whenever Avraham went to Mohammed’s forest, he would take vats of honey. In exchange for the honey, Mohammed gave my great-grandfather buckets of olive oil and fresh olives. Both my great-grandfather and Mohammed took the honey and olives to their markets to sell. Mohammed and my great-grandfather were trading partners for a long time.

Mohammed’s family and the Karasik family have been friends ever since.

This story is important to me, because it tells me about my great-grandfather. I learned that even if people are different, they can still get along with each other. I also learned not to judge people until I get to know them.

Sarah Davis; New York, USA

Illustrator: Joshua Bowman; Missouri, USA


This copyrighted story and illustration may be copied for limited classroom use or reprinted in an article about The Grannie Annie.


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