11.17.2005

wheat, barley, vines, fig-trees, pomegranates, olive-trees, and [date] honey

Hi, everyone!

Do you have thoughts about wheat, barley, vines (or grapes), fig-trees, pomegranates, olive-trees (or olive oil or olives), and [date] honey (or dates--the fruit, not the other kind)? Any thoughts at all? Jewish thoughts? General thoughts? Literary thoughts? Musical thoughts? Quotes of any kind? Send them my way, at abacaximamao@gmail.com, or my regular e-mail address, should you be so lucky as to have it. This is critically important! The sooner the better! I am expecting an overflowing cornucopia (heh!) of response. Thanks!

If you could send this to all of your friends and associates, or, better yet, link to it/copy it onto your blog, all the better. Thanks!

These are some of thoughts that others have had about these items to get you started...

“R. Hanina ben Pazzi said: Thorns need not be hoed nor sown—they sprout on their own, rise straight up, and grow. But wheat—how much pain, how much labor is needed before it can be made to grow!”
–Genesis Rabbah 45:4

“When a man sees barley in a dream, it is a sign that his iniquities are removed, for it is said, ‘Thine iniquity is removed and thy sin is expiated.’ (Isaiah 6:7). R. Zera said: I did not decide to go up from Babylonia to the Land of Israel until I saw barley in a dream.”
–B. Berachot 57a

A man makes no noise over a good deed, but passes on to another as a vine to bear grapes again in season.”
–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. v. 6.

No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”
–Epictetus, Discourses. Chap. xv

“Why did you bring the LORD's community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!"
–Numbers 20:4-6

“Rabbi Yehoshuah Ben Levi said: ‘Why is Israel compared to an olive tree? Because just as the leaves of an olive tree do not fall off either in summer or winter. So too, the Jewish people shall not be cast off - neither in this world nor in the World to Come.’”
–Talmud, Menachot 53b

“The righteous will flourish like a [date] palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’”

–Psalms 92:2-5

(It's times like this that I wish I could just fire off an e-mail to Pfoho-Open... Alas, Harvard-NYC and the like just don't match the quick, multivaried, and brilliant responses of a bunch of undergrads with copious amounts of time on their hands.)

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